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Presenting the Blue Sky Boys


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Audio CD, December 11, 2012
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Vinyl, 1966
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 11, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arhoolie Records
  • ASIN: B009P3PRFQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,781 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Corrina Corrina
2. Wild and Reckless Hobo
3. Midnight Special
4. Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet
5. Poor Boy
6. Oh Those Tombs
7. I Don't Want Your Greenback Dollar
8. Jack O'Diamonds
9. The Unquiet Grave
10. Cotton Mill Colic
11. Oh Marry in Time
12. Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Editorial Reviews

Bill and Earl Bolick were an old time country brother duet. Although they ended their careers as full-time musicians in 1951, they reunited in 1965 to record this album. Reissued for the first time on CD, this collection provides the showcase for the type of traditional songs and ballads for which the Blue Sky Boys became famous.

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NRL on September 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dolk music and bluegrass were often performed by brothers' groups - perhaps reflecting the importance of the family in Southern Appalachian culture. Among the best known of these groups were the Stanley and Monroe Brothers. The Blue Sky Boys, Bill and Earl Bolick, are a little less well known, but equally interesting. Many years ago, I was browsing in a record store and came up with a budget LP of the Bolicks' recordings for that label. I'd not yet heard of them, but was attracted by their singing traditional Child ballads such as "The Butcher Boy." My first listen was a revelation. The 'Boys sang in tight harmonies, perhaps a bit overly sweet, but with a "high lonesome" wistfulness characteristic of the best of Appalachian music. While they perhaps recorded too many disposable sentimental songs, their interest in the older ballads was unique, and they made even the sentimental songs worth listening to and emotionally moving.

The Blue Sky Boys were re-discovered during the folk revival of the early 'sixties by scholars such as Archie Green. This Arhoolie album, reissued on CD, is from that period. The harmonies were just as tight and the feelings just as lonesome. Notable here is their version of "Will the Circle be Unbroken?" This set is highly recommended for fans of traditional music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD
--------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Sky Boys
"Presenting The Blue Sky Boys"
(Arhoolie, 2012)
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Bill and Earl Bolick, the legendary duo known as the Blue Sky Boys, were one of country music's great "brother duos," singing heartfelt old-timey music in a haunting harmony style similar to that of acts such as the Delmore Brothers and the Bailes Brothers, and served as an inspiration for later artists such as the Louvin Brothers and the Everlys. Of all the great brother acts, the Blue Sky Boys have long been one of my favorites, with a simple, concise musical style that underscores their plaintive lyrics and evokes the simplicity and nostalgia for olden times that was the foundation of their repertoire. Throughout several decades, from their Depression-era heyday to their '60s folk-era comeback, the Bollicks never changed their sound: just mandolin, guitar and two voices linked by tradition, conviction and birth.

This disc is a reissue of an excellent old JEMF album originally recorded in 1965, when they were making a splash on the folk circuit. It's an extraordinary set, touching on their gospel roots but leaning heavily on secular material drawn from the catalogs of old-timey greats such as Jimmie Rodgers and Leadbelly. Many of the songs are well-known classics, such as "Corrina, Corrina," "Midnight Special," "Jack O'Diamonds" and "Greenback Dollar," familiar themes that take on new life in the unique Blue Sky Boys style: Their clipped high-harmonies, unfussy arrangements and intriguing variations on well-known songs by better-known artists all make this a richly, deeply rewarding record. If you enjoy the Louvin Brothers more stripped-down stuff, or the early recordings of the original Carter Family, then you owe it to yourself to check this out. Highly, emphatically recommended. (DJ Joe Sixpack)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ella on February 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this CD for my husband who remembered the Blue Sky Boys from some LP's he once owned, and wished he could reacquire on a CD. The Bolick brothers had retired in 1951 and almost 15 years later were persuaded to make the recording from which this CD was issued in 2012. I myself like the singing of the Blue Sky Boys much better than some of the very early groups that were rediscovered and recorded for the Smithsonian heritage projects and also better than many of the bluegrass groups who came along later. But my husband, who is a huge fan of all types of country music, and is particularly fond of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash, has been playing the Blue Sky Boys practically every day since it arrived. He said it is his absolute favorite single CD of any that he owns. In other words he LOVES it! My own opinion of why this is such a great recording is not just their talent as musicians, but because of the selection of the 12 songs that they recorded in the 1965 session. The little booklet included with the CD says that these songs were listed in Bill's notebook of "songs that he and Earl knew" but that they had not previously recorded any of them.
My own favorite song is 'Corrina Corrina', but when my husband started to tell me his favorite, he ended up listing half the songs on the CD... Poor Boy, I Don't Want Your Greenback Dollar, Midnight Special, Oh These Tombs... I've listed enough, I think, but I'm sure all of the songs will be familiar to fans of traditional country music. Buy this one even if your tastes in
country music are basically the current performers like Zac Brown Band, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood.
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