Monday, January 09, 2006

Thoroughly modern Gents

The Country Gentlemen were without argument, one of the most influential bands in Bluegrass. Although the personnel changes were hard to keep up with over the years, it was the core of Charlie Waller and John Duffy that gave the Country Gents their unique sound.
While it is well known that John Duffy spent long hours at the Library of Congress researching the old and overlooked tunes of the past, one of the things that their fans looked forward to was their treatment of current popular music of the day. The traditional bluegrass bands of the era stuck to the old standards or wrote their own music based on the old standards. It was the Folk Revival and authenticity counted. The Country Gentlemen were not afraid to take the music of the radio and give it their own sound.

The Country Gentlemen - Sea Of Heartbreak
written by Paul Hampton and Hal David and recorded in 1961 by Don Gibson

The Country Gentlemen - Teach Your Children
written and recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

The Country Gentlemen - Souvenirs
written and recorded by John Prine


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again good choice for the daily ride. Well you know me I could stay in the Hills for day's


January 10, 2006 9:10 AM  
Blogger Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

The C,S,N,Y tune is a particularly soothing piece. The song comes across as being a lot more real than the Sinatra and Sinatra-like covers of '60s music that were rampant when this stuff was probably recorded.

Which brings me to a request that may be a stretch for your library. On WDVX a few years back I heard a bluegrass cover of the Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes". I did not catch the name of the performer or else I would have a copy of the song. It was some beautiful though.

January 10, 2006 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. BNH look at this would
this be the song that you are
looking for


January 10, 2006 1:04 PM  
Anonymous nap said...

Mr. BNH,

R.E.M. has recorded it live and is an outtake from "Reckoning" while Eric Andersen also recorded it on his 2nd volume of "Great American Song Series".

January 10, 2006 1:45 PM  
Anonymous nap said...

Also, the group Radio Caroline was picked to be included on a Lou Reed Compilation disk put out by Wampus Multimedia in early 2003. The cd After Hours: A Tribute To The Music Of Lou Reed seems to be a keeper just because of the great mix of music and recording styles. This has got to be the group you are looking for.

January 10, 2006 2:06 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Thanks for the input, Joey and nap.
Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes" is a classic and has been covered by lots of folks. I can not think of a pure bluegrass version though, Let's see, Alejandro Escovedo included it on his "Bourbonitis Blues" which I think came out in 1998 or '99, but that is more Escovedo's punk-orchestra style than bluegrass.
Of course, the Velvet Underground’s version is in my collection.
Damn Mr. BNH, seems you have me stumped!

January 10, 2006 3:02 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Ahaa! I believe I found it! And no wonder it didn't ring a bell to me, I don't watch much TV. The soundtrack to the TV series "Crossing Jordan" includes a whole bunch of good old tunes done it other styles. Included is a version of "Pale Blue Eyes" performed by Joe Henry! Damn, whodathunkit?
See the press release at

January 10, 2006 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed I try when I can

January 10, 2006 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a new federal law forbidding annoying, anonymous email. Ergo, I've been verrrrry careful not to put in my two cents worth on "Pale Blue Eyes". Seems the other riders and Ed didn't need me, anyway.

January 10, 2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I would not have thought the song would turn up on such a main street offering. Looks like I am on my way to the music store. Some of the other suggestions look worth looking into as well. Thanks ya'll.

January 10, 2006 5:48 PM  

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