Homer Ledford and Cabin Creek/Carr and Hammond/Thunder and the Hosscats (#312)

Traditional bluegrass and a liberal dose of folksy humor with three Kentucky-based bands.

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Traditional bluegrass music and a healthy dose of folksy humor combine on this episode of Jubilee, which features three Kentucky bands: Winchester’s Homer Ledford and Cabin Creek; Nicholasville’s Carr and Hammond; and Thunder and the Hosscats, also from Nicholasville. The performers were taped close to home, at the Red Mule Bluegrass Festival in Berea.

Homer Ledford and Cabin Creek lead off with “Someday We’ll Meet Again, Sweetheart,” then move on to “Nine-Pound Hammer.” Banjo and guitar player Rollie Carpenter displays the clawhammer banjo style on “Here Rattler Here.”

In addition to Carpenter and mandolin player Ledford, the group includes L.C. Johnson on guitar, Pam Case on bass, and Marvin Carroll on fiddle. Ledford explains that the band, formed in 1976, has been strongly influenced by the music of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and Don Reno and Red Smiley.

Up next is the Nicholasville duo of Carr and Hammond. Also calling themselves the Moron Brothers, the two men present a laid-back show consisting mostly of humorous novelty songs about such topics as the biggest liar in Jessamine County, a run-in with an electric fence, and the story of the preacher and the bear. It’s clear from their continual joking and casual style that these two performers love to have a good time with their songs. Their performance also includes an instrumental version of “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?” and a tribute to famed Kentucky songwriter and guitar player Merle Travis.

Closing out this edition of Jubilee are Thunder and the Hosscats, who sometimes perform under the name Eastern Blend. The band includes Mark Kaser on bass, Danny Barnes on banjo, Ronnie King on mandolin, Ken “M.B.” Tunnel on guitar, and Wayne Fife on fiddle. Tunnel explains that the “Thunder” in the group’s name refers to Kaser’s style of playing bass. It’s heard here on such traditional favorites as “Little Maggie,” “Smoky Mountain Blues,” and “Waitin’ There for Me.”