First released in 1977, this 30th anniversary edition of Oregon Mountains is primarily of bluegrass influence; the album also contains some of Simmons' jazz, folk and pop inflected music as well as two impressive frailing banjo instrumentals.
Oregon Mountains was first released in 1977 to rave reviews. Primarily of bluegrass influence, the album also contains some of Simmons' jazz, folk and pop inflected music as well as two impressive frailing banjo instrumentals. "Banjo Raga" features the seemingly unlikely marriage of Indian melodies that one might hear played on sitar paired with a more familiar sounding western hoe down. "Suite For Wings" is an elegant, breathtaking piece of work that starts slowly and builds to a dramatic, hair-raising conclusion. Woody's banjo compositions were years ahead of their time and foreshadowed the work done in later years by Bela Fleck, Tony Trishka, Scott Vestal and the like. In 1988, FRETS Magazine named Oregon Mountains one of 12 landmark banjo albums, chosen "to highlight banjo albums that influenced the evolution of the instrument in other directions".
The title song became a favorite among Woody's fans well before the album was recorded, prompting Simmons to invite a large contingent of women to sing on the album. Featured in this group are Rhiannon (Alive!, Voicestra), other members of Alive!, Nancy Vogl, (who also toured with Woody in 1978), and members of the Berkeley Women's Music Collective.
1 You've Got the Love2 Can't Say Why3 Feather In The Wind4 Banjo Raga5 Oregon Mountains6 Goin' Down South7 Grey Today8 Mockingbird9 Suite For Wings10 I'll Give It All To The Music