Mudcat Café message #953071 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59703   Message #953071
Posted By: Rick Fielding
15-May-03 - 09:53 AM
Thread Name: Red Allen, Frank Wakefield & Kentuckyans
Subject: Red Allen, Frank Wakefield & Kentuckyans
Oh Lordy, what a wonderful band! I've just been listening to the "Folkways Years" album from Smithsonian-Folkways and I can hardly believe how innovative it was......in 1963!

Pete Kuykendall's banjo playing is SOOOO under-rated, and of course you also have the Billy Keith sides where he was practically re-inventing the banjo.

You know I think it was just one of those magical combinations (like when Jimmy Martin met the Osbournes, or Monroe hired Scruggs) of talent and completely unusual personalities. Wakefield was clean clear and original and Red was at his absolute peak as a singer....he improvised many of his tenor harmonies, and put lots of surprising notes in. His guitar parts were superb...and audible..which was good 'cuz Tom Morgan's bass can barely be heard. It isn't needed though. Red simply nails the rhythm.

This is simply Bluegrass at it's best, and all the innovations are coming around the edges so it's still solidly traditional.......and I've only described the first HALF of it! The second half with Red's sons is also great....with lots of original material.

I'll bet you can get it from CAMSCO, it's a marvelous album.

Any other Red Allen fans.....I saw him in Columbus once, where he managed to infuriate several other performers by staying on stage to long!

Cheers

Rick