Shine On

Shine On

by Ralph StanleyRalph Stanley


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At 78, bluegrass giant Ralph Stanley continues to make deep, awe-inspiring music, transcendent music. Borrowing its stately, inspirational title tune from Dolly Parton, Shine On is another testimony of unshakeable faith from Stanley, who imbues the disc with the conviction of a true believer and an infectious eagerness to share the good news of God's promise of redemption. As if to make matters less speculative, shall we say, Stanley's repertoire here underscores the power of the enduring bonds that connect family and friends, temporally and spiritually -- a point powerfully made in the a cappella rendering of the traditional lamentation "In the Old Churchyard," on which Stanley's unaccompanied, husky vocal reaches levels of subtle emotional expressiveness that are beyond the scope of most mortals. Stanley's Virginia preacher buddy Bill Crawford contributes "King of All Kings" and "Sing Songs About Jesus," rousing toe-tappers that allow ample room for the main man to dig into the elegant, straightforward lyrics as the band cooks up an impressive ensemble dialogue featuring some sparkling solo work, especially by fleet-fingered banjo man Steve Sparkman. Two old warhorses, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and Albert Brumley's "I'll Fly Away," are studies in emotional contrast, the former being a stately, a cappella group sing highlighted by eerie handclaps; the latter is a soaring, harmonized, and fiddle-fired celebration of the looming hereafter. Most moving of all is "On a High, High Mountain," on which Stanley's recitation of his friend Dean Deel's wrenching reflections on life and death, as inspired by a visit to his mother's gravesite, is truly chilling. Accompanied only by John Rigsby's double-tracked fiddle, Stanley's unembroidered voice stirs the soul with the power of mighty waters. Shine on, good man. Shine on.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/07/2005
Label: Rebel Records
UPC: 0032511181022
catalogNumber: 111810
Rank: 65836

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ralph Stanley   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jack Cooke   Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Double Bass,Bass Fiddle
Steve Sparkman   Banjo,Hand Clapping
James Alan Shelton   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Hand Clapping,Double Bass,Bass Fiddle
John Rigsby   Fiddle,Mandolin,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal),Vocal Harmony
Ralph Stanley   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Hand Clapping
Amber Davis   Vocal Harmony
Martha Davis   Vocal Harmony
Nathan Stanley   Mandolin

Technical Credits

Dolly Parton   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Bill Crawford   Composer
John Matthias   Composer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
J.L. Frank   Composer
Ralph Stanley   Producer,Audio Production
Alan Maggard   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Joel Turner   Composer

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