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Best of Vanguard Years

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Audio CD, August 13, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

No Greenbriar Boys albums have been in print for years, making them one of Vanguard's most requested artists for reissue. Here are 2 CDs of their best '60s tracks for the label, tracks that helped this Northern band gain the respect of the Southern bluegrass community: Down the Road; Rosie's Gone Again; McKinley; Muddy Waters; Banks of the Ohio; Pal of Mine (last two with Joan Baez), and 29 more!

Disc: 1
1. Katy Clyne
2. I'm Coming Back But I Don't Know When
3. Stewball
4. Rawhide
5. Banks Of The Ohio
6. Pal Of Mine
7. We Shall Not Be Moved
8. We Need A Lot More Of Jesus
9. Girl On The Greenbriar Shore
10. Life Is Like A Mountain Railway
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Sleepy-Eyed John
2. Ragged But Right
3. McKinley
4. Levee Breaking Blues
5. A Minor Breakdown
6. Let Me Fall
7. The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives Me
8. At The End Of A Long, Lonely Day
9. Yellin Holler
10. I Cried Again
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 13, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vanguard
  • ASIN: B00006EXM3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,394 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on September 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Frankly, I have been pestering Vanguard and its various minions to put this stuff out for about 10 years, so I am really happy it is out. The Greenbriar boys were great music and great fun. Ralph Rinzler was a great man who had a lot to do with making known people like Bill Monroe Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, and founding the modern preservation and publishing of folk music by the Smithsonian, among other things. Johnny Herald was the king of the flat pickers in the folk revival and backed everyone from Doc Watson to Ian and Sylvia. When Frank Wakefield replaced Rinzler, the group moved closer to contemporary non-collegiate based bluegrass and became less collegiate. I remember being in Gerde's the last night when Frank said they could use the name Greenbriar Boys the last time, it was in 1970 or 71.
Of this group, Frank Wakefield is still out there touring and a web search will bring you to his web site, and you can see where he is. Several years ago, Rinzler joined the big bluegrass band in the sky and Bill Monroe came to Washington to sing Amazing Grace at his funeral. Herald writes poetry, I am told.
This is a record you will listen to, you will remember and will want to put on the CD when you need to perk up, when you realize you are getting too serious for yourself, and need to smile, laugh and feel ragged but right. Unlike the New Lost City Ramblers--who I love--the Greenbriars created their own mix of music basic on old timey and bluegrass with influences from jug bands and blues and folk.
Sadly missing from this collection is their great performance of Roll on John and Johnny Herald's original rendition of "Different Drum" done as an on Vanguard sampler in the early 1960s.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By George A. Fowler on December 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Maynard Solomon, of all people, should turn his prodigious writing skills to the history of the Vanguard Recording Society during the years he and his brother (the late) Seymour owned and managed it (until the mid-1980's). Superb as Vanguard's classical recordings were, the real interest would be its recordings of the many talented artists then at the center of the US folk music storm of the mid-1960's: Joan Baez, the Weavers, Erik Darling, Ian and Sylvia, John Hammond, Sandy Bull, Buffy Ste. Marie, and the Greenbriar Boys, among others. Mr. Solomon could, if he chose to, provide fascinating insights on just how his recordings were so phenomenally consistent in their high artistic quality. Most of these artists eventually went on to other labels, but with what seemed to me like notably less satisfactory artistic results. And of course, the musical Zeitgeist was evolving and artistic livelihoods adjusting accordingly.
I continue to listen to those old Vanguard recordings from time to time, but, yes, perhaps with less and less frequency. Nonetheless, forty years on, it is unmistakably clear to me that the impact of the three full recordings by the Greenbriar Boys on the Vanguard label is a lasting one. The group, whether in its Ralph Rinzler or Frank Wakefield configuration, still awes with its musicianship, vocal delivery, and sheer verve.
The Greenbriar Boys were thought of as "Bluegrass" musicians; and it is true, they did play exceedingly well the music developed by Monroe, the Stanleys, Flatt and Scruggs, Reno and Smiley, et al.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Greenbriar Boys -- featuring John Herald, Ralph Rinzler, Bob Yellin and Frank Wakefield -- were one of the most influential bands of the '60s bluegrass revival, helping bridge the gap between the semi-retired old-timers of the '40s and '50s and the eager young'uns of the early '60s folk boom, who wanted to soak up as much "authentic" hillbilly culture as they possibly could. In the early days of the Greenwich Village-based earnest folkie college/coffeehouse scene, *_what_* you knew was, quite frankly, more important than how well you could play it, and like many of the would-be bluegrassers of the time, the Greenbriar Boys did sound a bit ricketty from time to time. That was okay, though... their hearts were in the right place, and they had fun digging up material like the historically-oriented ballads such as "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight" and pop culture goofs like Wayne Raney's "We Need A Whole Lot More Of Jesus (And A Lot Less Rock and Roll)." This generously programmed 2-CD set collects material from their influential LPs on the Vanguard label, recorded between 1961-66, and charts the group's rapid progress from a somewhat awkward-sounding (but very enthusiastic) ensemble into a more, cohesive professional band. When Rinzler left the group in order to devote himself fulltime to booking shows and promoting events, hotshot mandolin whiz Frank Wakefield came in and added some extra instrumental ooompf. Fans of the New Lost City Ramblers and those interested in the history of the modern bluegrass scene should definitely check this collection out -- it's a nice glimpse into the innocent early years, and definitely shows these guys at their best.
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