DON RIGSBY, DOCTOR’S ORDERS: A TRIBUTE TO RALPH STANLEY

DON RIGSBY
DOCTOR’S ORDERS: A TRIBUTE TO RALPH STANLEY

Rebel Records
REB CD 1981

For long-time Don Rigsby fans, the story is oft-told. Though surrounded by many wonderful and soon-to-be famous musicians—from Larry Cordle to Keith Whitley to Ricky Skaggs—while growing up in eastern Kentucky, Rigsby developed a love for the music of Ralph Stanley at an early age.

One day, a six-year-old Rigsby and his family went to see Stanley perform in Ashland, Ky., at the historic Paramount Theater. In Stanley’s band that night was Whitley. It happened to be Rigsby’s birthday that evening, and his dad had told Whitley that he was Stanley’s biggest fan. So, before the show, Whitley grabbed up Rigsby and took him backstage to meet his hero, and that connection was cemented forever. Rigsby, of course, went on to become one of the best lead and high tenor singers in bluegrass music. Now, with his new album Doctor’s Orders, he gets to complete the circle and give tribute to the music of Stanley.

The recording starts out with the new song, “The Mountain Doctor,” written by Rigsby and Cordle. On it, Stanley makes a light-hearted guest appearance as the song sets a happy tone. The rest of the album, however, is filled with songs that were made famous by Stanley, such as “Home In The Mountains,” “Brand New Tennessee Waltz,” “Medicine Springs,” “Little Maggie,” and “The Daughter Of Geronimo,” which features a guest vocal by the honored legend.

Rigsby produced this solid effort and put together an excellent group of all-star studio musicians here to back him up. They include current and former Clinch Mountain Boys James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman, Charlie Sizemore, and Ricky Skaggs, along with Ron Stewart, Larry Sparks, Barry Bales, and Rigsby’s band Midnight Call. (Rebel Records, P.O. Box 7405, Charlottesville, VA 22906, www.rebelrecords.com.)DH

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