Big Apple Bluegrass The Greenbriar Boys


Catalogue Id:
VCD 79723

This urban bluegrass group first came together in 1958 and, initially, comprised guitarist John Herald, banjo player Bob Yellin and multi-instrumentalist Eric Weissberg. Herald can be heard as an excellent support musician on numerous Vanguard albums. In 1959, Weissberg left the group (he would go on to work with the Tarriers and record the much-acclaimed Duelin' Banjos for the highly influential soundtrack of the film Deliverance). Mandolin player Ralph Rinzler was his replacement and would remain in the band until 1964 when he departed to take up a post as talent and folklore coordinator for the Newport Folk Festival. He was, in turn, replaced by Frank Wakefield, another great bluegrass mandolin master.

The Greenbriar Boys recorded several albums for Vanguard and in the early 1960s took bluegrass music on to American TV with appearances on ABC's Hootenanny show. Stewball remains one of the group's most popular songs and was covered by Peter, Paul & Mary. John Herald recently returned to recording with the alt country-ish 2001 album "Roll On John" (Spit And Polish) and has since toured the UK. BIG APPLE BLUEGRASS draws material from across the Greenbriar Boy's three issued albums and two samplers - 1961's "New Folk" and 1962's "The Sound Of Folk Music Volume 2" - but also adds previously unreleased outtakes from both the latter LP and their eponymous d?©but, plus a previously unreleased track from a reel marked 'Manhattan Towers Ballroom Rehearsals' (Manhattan Towers was the West Side ballroom where many of the great Vanguard recording sessions took place, most notably those of Joan Baez).

By John Crosby


Track listing


Side 1

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