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His Family & Friends / Nashville Airplane

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 14, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

The solo Scruggs LP His Family and Friends features Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan appears on the duo's Nashville Airplane ! 25 tracks!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Nine Pound Hammer - Earl Scruggs
  2. Lonesome Ruben - Earl Scruggs
  3. My Home's Across The Blue Ridge Mountains - Earl Scruggs
  4. Love Is A Four-Letter Word - Earl Scruggs
  5. The Last Thing On My Mind - Earl Scruggs
  6. Stramlined Cannonball - Earl Scruggs
  7. Nashville Skyline Rag - Earl Scruggs
  8. Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Earl Scruggs
  9. You Ain't Going Nowhere - Earl Scruggs
  10. Nothin' To It - Earl Scruggs
  11. Salty Dog Blues - Earl Scruggs
  12. On Top Of Old Smokey - Earl Scruggs
  13. Black Mountain Rag - Earl Scruggs
  14. Foggy Mountain Breakdown (20-Second Excerpt From His Moratorium Appearance) - Earl Scruggs
  15. Like A Rolling Stone - Flatt & Scruggs
  16. Folsom Prison Blues - Flatt & Scruggs
  17. Gentle On My Mind - Flatt & Scruggs
  18. If I Were A Carpenter - Flatt & Scruggs
  19. Frieda Florentine - Flatt & Scruggs
  20. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Flatt & Scruggs
  21. Rainy Day Women - Flatt & Scruggs
  22. Catch The Wind - Flatt & Scruggs
  23. Long Road To Houston - Flatt & Scruggs
  24. The Times They Are A-Changin' - Flatt & Scruggs
  25. Universal Soldier - Flatt & Scruggs


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 14, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collectables
  • ASIN: B0000507ZR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Wow, here are two classic LPs I never thought would see the laser-light of day on CD.
EARL SCRUGGS: HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS (a solo shot, not a Flatt and Scruggs album as suggested by the Collectibles label, which did the reissue) is taken from a 1970 PBS (then NET) documentary on Scruggs. The soundtrack is excellent, combining live tracks, back-porch guitar (and banjo) pulls and commentary by Scruggs. Highlights: An early melding of bluegrass and an incredible new musical gizmo called a synthesizer; guest shots by the Byrds, Joan Baez, Doc Watson and the Morris Brothers (Dylan's here too but his instrumental track is unremarkable); and a snippet from a performance during the Vietnam War Moratorium protest in Washington. This forgotten gems ranks as one of the best folk/bluegrass albums ever made.
Flatt & Scruggs' NASHVILLE AIRLINE is a bona-fide bizarro disc, born of Scruggs' growing interest in folk and pop music (culminating in the formation of the Earl Scruggs Revue in the early 1970s). F&S perform a variety of ill-suited pop and protest songs. Flatt's deadpan vocals on Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women" (everybody must get stoned) or Donavan's hippie anthem "Catch the Wind" makes you wonder if he realized what the words meant. I picture him putting up with this left-of-center material just to keep ol' Earl happy. "But, Earl, I don't get why everyone must have stones thrown at them." Not F&S's finest moment, but the combination of '60s kitsch and hot picking is worth the price of admission.
My hunch: These weren't big-sellers when they were released, and they won't stay in print long. Get 'em while you can.
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Format: Audio CD
First I really don't understand why they packaged this CD the way they did. I personally think they should've reversed the order, since the first 14 songs are Earl and friends (without Lester), and tracks 15-25 are one of Flatt & Scruggs last albums.

Earl had many guests on this, his first solo effort. The line up is impressive: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, The Byrds... all these people/groups show up here to lend their talents, showing how much each one respected Scruggs. That stands as testimonial to the influence this great musician/pioneer had and continues to have to this day. (Need further proof? Check out last year's Earl Scruggs and Friends).

Now for the F&S album: This is the "Hippy years" when Earl was into Dylan, Donovan and others of that "folk rock" era.

Now, while I'm sure the died-in-the-wool Bluegrassers of the time were probably cursing Flatt & Scruggs and calling them "turncoats", one still has to admit this is just plain good music, no matter what walls stand between styles. Good music is good music, right?

I love their version of Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone", and I remember as a child listening to my grandmother's old 45 RPM of "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" (written by Dylan). At the time, I honestly thought it was a Flatt & Scruggs original and to this day, no matter who I hear sing that song, I always compare it to this version. It's just great singing/picking.

"Folsom Prison Blues" just doesn't work here, because that song works only for Cash, and on "Rainy Day Women #12&35", it's just hard to listen to Lester Flatt sing about getting stoned. It just doesn't work.

"If I Were A Carpenter" is done very tastefully here as well as "Gentle On My Mind", "Catch The Wind" and (my personal favorite on the CD)"Universal Soldier".

If you buy this CD expecting Bluegrass, you'll be in for a shock, but if you buy this CD expecting just plain good music, you'll be in for a treat.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know whose bad idea it was to package these together, but it just doesn't work. Earl Scruggs first solo album combined with Flatt & Scruggs doing rock covers. Poor Lester Flatt sounds so uncomfortable singing Like A Rolling Stone and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, you feel bad or him. And the arrangements aren't that great.
I gave this 4 stars because the Earl Scruggs part, performed with friends Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Bob Dylan and The Byrds is so much better. Too bad that album is not available by itself.
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Format: Audio CD
The review by "the music fan from Alexandria" is really quite good, so I will just add a few things.
I came across the "Earl Scruggs, His Family, and Friends" vinyl record the other day in a pawn shop for 50 cents! I had no idea what joys awaited my when I got it on my turntable. The music is outstanding, and the conversations between Earl, Doc Watson, Joan Baez, and others are fascinating.
Two songs, for example, were recorded at Doc's North Carolina home. Earl explains to the TV interviewer that the song they are about to play is un-rehearsed; Doc can be heard in the background saying "The music is usually better thattaway." And he is right - the ensuing performance of "The Last Thing on My Mind" is flawless, unless you count the sound of Doc's laughter early on...and who would call that a "flaw"?
At different times during the recording one can hear birds singing in the background, and during one segment what sounds like rain falling on the roof of the porch. This album takes the listener right to the porch with Earl, Doc, the Byrds, Bob and Joan (and the really great Morris Brothers, who I heard here for the first time). Is there any better setting for folk music?
I have not heard the "Flatt and Scruggs" album (tracks 15 - 25) but this CD is worth it for the first 14 tracks alone.
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