Jim Rigsby and the Rock Bottom/Chain Reaction/Dave Evans and River Bend (#311)

Three traditional bluegrass bands showcase talented instrumentalists and tight vocal harmonies.

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Three traditional bluegrass bands—two based in Kentucky and the third from Ohio—showcase talented instrumentalists and tight vocal harmonies on this edition of Jubilee. The performances were taped at the Carter County Shrine Club Bluegrass Festival in Olive Hill, KY.

Leading off the hour-long program are Jim Rigsby and the Rock Bottom, featuring Rigsby on bass, Vernon Litteral on guitar, Glen Branham on mandolin, and Tim Hale on banjo. The Waverly, OH group has a good time playing what Rigsby calls the “old-time stuff,” including “Salty Dog,” “No One To Go My Bail,” and “Sunny Side of the Mountain.”

Next, Chain Reaction, from Walton, KY, takes the stage. Guitarist Jamie Hall, mandolin player Phil Lawrence, banjo player Coy Turner, bassist Paul Johnston, and fiddler Gerald Evans perform “Take This Hammer,” “Last Train from Poor Valley,” and “Cold-Hearted Woman.”

Finishing up the program is a brief selection of bluegrass songs by some surprise visitors at the festival—Dave Evans and River Bend. Playing with Evans, who is based in the Ashland area, are guests Jim Rigsby on bass, John Rigsby on fiddle, Ralph Smith on guitar, and Shayne Bartley on mandolin. They delight the festival audience with several tunes, including Evans’ own “Highway 52.”