A few days ago, I bought a CD of The Wilson Brothers off of Tipper over at the Blind Pig & The Acorn. Tipper has been a reader and commentor of this blog since it's very beginning. I knew I was in for a treat considering I'd heard samples of the Wilson Brothers music on that site, but nothing prepared me for the pure enjoyment I was to get from one of their CD's. This has led me to write my very first review of anything on this blog.
On their CD, “At the John C. Campbell Folk School & On Radio”, the hometown treasures of Brasstown, NC, The Wilson Brothers, wow listeners with what amounts to candy for your ears.
The harmonies displayed by Ray and Jerry Wilson are very reminiscent of the early Carter Family and would be sheer enjoyment to any purveyor of traditional mountain music. I’m convinced the Wilson Brother’s harmonization on “Careless Soul” would even make Sara and Maybelle Carter envious.
Interspersed with personal comments from these genuine sons of Appalachia, this colorful and unique banter in and of itself is worth the price of the CD. Where else can one hear about Jerry’s bout of croup, or the brother’s first trip to Cu-E-Hogey Falls, OH?
When covering many southern gospel standards in their unique style, The Wilson Brothers, could make Heaven seem within reach to even the worst of sinners. It is rare indeed when entertainers can spread the Word without coming across as “preachy”, especially considering Ray Wilson is an ordained minister of the Gospel. Where I come from we call that “annointed”.
I was especially pleased to hear a cover of “Wreck on the Highway”, one of my favorite songs and one that always bring to mind the late Roy Acuff. On this track, The Wilson Brothers, manage to encompass the passion (and compassion) of Roy Acuff while at the same time still making the standard their own. This is not an easy thing to accomplish.
This CD is an excellent example of real mountain music, and to quote the late Jim Comstock, “It is so real that if you’d cut it, it’d bleed”. To me, no collection of traditional mountain & gospel music is complete until this album is in your collection. I recommend it highly.
For the nominal cost of $10, you could own your very own piece of Appalachian mountain music by the 1998 Recipients of the North Carolina Heritage Award. For ordering information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Payment is accepted by personal check, money order or Paypal, AND If you buy more than one Wilson Brothers CD, there is even a discount! As they say on the mountain where I come from, “You can’t beat that deal with a stick!”