Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys at the Birchmere

I had the opportunity to see the December 16 concert at The Birchmere with my wife Emily. The concert was enjoyable, although the band seemed a little full of themselves at times. Ralph sang on a majority of the songs, but sat a few out. He said he'd overdone it the night before. A real treat was when he played the old claw hammer style on the banjo.

A partial set list included:

O Death
Rank Stranger
A Robin Built a Nest on Daddy's Grave
I’ll Fly Away
Pretty Polly
Sandy Ridge
Mary Merry Christmas
Orange Blossom Special
Mountain Dew (Last two were best of night in my opinion)

A considerable amount of time was spent promoting merchandise, which the band shamelessly admitted, but I felt it detracted from the show a bit. The "Play It And They Will Buy" approach seems like it would work better.

Overall, it was good music and another great opportunity to see a legend play live.

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