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I Wasn't Born to Rock N Roll (Dig)


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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Kansas City Railroad Blues 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Storms Are On The Ocean 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Head Over Heels In Love With You 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Doorstep of Trouble 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. If I Should Wander Back Tonight 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Texas Gales 1:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. I Saw Your Face In The Moon 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Prisoner's Song 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Marathon 7:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Same Old Blues Again 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Powder Creek 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Can't You Hear Me Calling 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. She's Her Own Special Baby 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Tompkins Square reissues an obscure treasure on June 1, 2010.
Roland White’s 1976 solo album ‘I Wasn’t Born To Rock ‘N Roll’, originally issued on the Ridge Runner Records label, is re-mastered from the original tapes and released for the very first time on CD.
Roland White, along with his brother Clarence, made bluegrass and country music history as members ... Read more in Amazon's Roland White Store

Visit Amazon's Roland White Store
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tompkins Square
  • ASIN: B003G4IXAG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,642 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Roland White s 1976 solo album I Wasn t Born To Rock N Roll , originally issued on the Ridge Runner Records label, is re-mastered from the original tapes and released for the very first time on CD.
Roland White, along with his brother Clarence, made bluegrass and country music history as members of the Kentucky Colonels. Roland also played in Bill Monroe s Blue Grass Boys and Lester Flatt s Nashville Grass, and later in Country Gazette and the Nashville Bluegrass Band. Clarence famously played with the Byrds, among many others, until his tragic death in 1973.
This album features Alan Munde, Kenny Wertz, Roger Bush and Dave Ferguson playing traditional tunes, as well as a composition called Powder Creek , co-written by Roland & Clarence. This was the first appearance of this special tune on an album, a song which Roland now describes as having been composed with his brother on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1963!
The package includes original liner notes by Gene Parsons (The Byrds), new reflections from Roland, original album artwork, and one unreleased bonus track not included on the original LP!

Review

I Wasn t Born to Rock n Roll

Roland White

(Tompkins Square)

Reissued bluegrass album finds a banjoist discovering glee in the wake of tragedy.

At first glance, the name of Roland White s recently reissued 1976 bluegrass album I Wasn t Born to Rock n Roll appears to be a contrarian proclamation, a defiant stand against the excesses of arena rock and disco. It turns out that White s stance was considerably more lighthearted, a fact that becomes evident as soon as you flip the Digipak to its back cover. It reads But I Love to Cook, and includes a picture of White frying up a couple of eggs on the backside of his mandolin, which presumably he s heated up with his breakneck playing. White began performing professionally in 1954, at age 16, with his siblings as the Country Boys. He and brother Clarence continued on in a bluegrass group called the Kentucky Colonels in the 60s, but they struggled to find gigs amid the ascendancy of the folk revival and then the British Invasion. Clarence eventually joined the Byrds and Roland joined the backup bands of two his biggest bluegrass influences, Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt. In 1973, the brothers reunion in the New Kentucky Colonels was tragically cut short when a drunk driver fatally hit Clarence while he was loading up his equipment after a gig; Roland dislocated a shoulder trying to push his brother out of the way. Less than three years later, White created the upbeat I Wasn t Born to Rock n Roll, and it stands as a testament to his dedication and buoyant spirit. A better showcase for White s mandolin than his singing, I Wasn t Born is an enthusiastic take on traditionalism. White pays tribute to the greats with whom he s played, covering Monroe s Can t You Hear Me Calling and Flatt s Head Over Heels In Love With You and If I Should Wander Back Tonight (written with Earl Scruggs). Roland s palpitating plectrum resuscitates six bluegrass classics, including the traditional Nine Pound Hammer and Jimmie Davis Shackles and Chains, over the course of the ambitious medley, which Roland and his crew recorded in a single take. If bluegrass is the jazziest of the country subgenres, then the seven-and-a-half minute Marathon is basically a freeform, country-jazz odyssey. The lone original, Powder Creek, is an airy instrumental penned by Roland and Clarence in 1963 on the New Jersey Turnpike during their early Kentucky Colonels days. Roland s interplay with the guitar and the banjo is sprightly and the minor chord progressions are the sole traces of melancholy in an otherwise cheerful song. It s an example of Roland White doing what he does best, playing bluegrass mandolin, pure and simple. --David Dunlap, Jr., washingtoncitypaper.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on June 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD
By the time mandolinist and vocalist Roland White cut this album in 1976, he was a well-seasoned bluegrass performer. His family band, the Country Boys had morphed into the Kentucky Colonels, released several albums and toured the U.S. When the Colonels broke up in 1965, White's brother Clarence became a sought-after session guitarist, a member of Nashville West and, in 1968, a member of the Byrds. During the same period Roland joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, and later, Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass. The brothers had a short-lived reunion in a reformed Kentucky Colonels, but when a drunk driver struck and killed Clarence, Roland was once again on his own. White joined Country Gazette in 1974, staying for 13 years and recording this album with their instrumental and vocal backing. The progressive elements the band brought to their group albums are left behind as these songs are drawn from classics by Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmie Davis, and Bill Monroe, highlighted by the seven-minute, six-song medley, "Marathon." White proves himself a compelling vocalist, adding bluesy slides to his solo phrases and fitting tightly into the backing harmonies. The set's lone original is the White brothers' "Powder Creek," joining two other instrumentals on the original album. This first-ever CD reissue, with one bonus track ("She is Her Own Special Baby"), is remastered from the original tapes, and sparkles with the energy the players brought from the stage into the studio. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leopold Stotch on June 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD
...to their credit, the good folks at Tompkins Square Records do not hype this nicely-presented reissue as a "lost classic" or try to market it as some sort of ground-breaking experiment that was too ahead of its time to succeed in its era. It's none of those things: it's a 1970s bluegrass album very much of its era -- charmingly immediate, with little post-production or fuss in the recording, mixing, or presentation. In fact, the absence of instrumental longueurs and rock'n'roll repertoire (no James Taylor covers!) make it rather quaintly counter-revolutionary for the time. The result is a very timeless record that, while not extraordinary in any marked way, is very pleasant.

It's a nice showcase for White's Monroe-style mandolin, which is in fine form here and is nicely recorded. Banjo picker Alan Munde pretty much steals the show at every turn, delivering solos that are rock-solid and classic-sounding, but with intriguing new wrinkles in the note-choice and technique. White's lead singing is solid and engaging. The tunes selected are pretty unsurprising, and delivered competently. Roger Bush's scrotum-shivering high-baritone singing is in full effect.

I don't mean to make it sound like a bad album: it's really enjoyable. There were just a lot of records like it that came out around this time, many of them on the Texas Ridge Runner imprint (who originally released this). As the title implies, Roland is dyed-in-the-wool bluegrasser, so don't come here looking for surprises or freewheeling thrills a la the best of the Kentucky Colonels. This is more mature, reserved, and in a way professional. An interesting choice for Tompkins Square, a label that usual deals in more maverick fare, but most agreeable.

PS -- Hey, Tompkins Square, while you're rooting around the Ridge Runner vaults, could you reissue the Poor Richard's Almanac record? What about the Stuart Duncan/Alison Brown album "Pre-Sequel"? Maybe the Sam Bush/Alan Munde duet record?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shemp-Masta-Flash on July 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Yup, a "lost/obscure classic" this mos def is not, but it IS excellent straight-up bluegrass stuff from the '70s. Not really "progressive bluegrass" but not exactly reactionary/stodgy/hidebound/purist/etc. either. Vocals and instrumentals are ACES -- unlikely to blow yr mind but just might make yr day! Dandy stuff!!!
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By Rebecca Love on February 19, 2015
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Product was received in prestine condition. No scratches or marks on the record and the packaging was flawless!
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