Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys (#326)

Grammy winner Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys bring their down-to-earth bluegrass sound to the Jubilee stage.


Ralph Stanley picked his first banjo when he was just 11 years old. More than 50 years, an honorary doctorate, and numerous awards later, he’s still entertaining audiences with a bluegrass style that reaches back to the music’s roots.

Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys deliver a unique blend of ballads and instrumentals that remains true to the traditional bluegrass sound—a sound that the filmmaking Coen brothers found irresistible. In 2001, Stanley contributed to the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum soundtrack of their feature film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and was himself awarded the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his rousing rendition of “O Death.” In 2002, the band won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album of the year, Lost in the Lonesome Pines.

When asked about his music, Stanley simply says, “I play it the way I feel it.... I’m plain and I’m down-to-earth and I’m proud of it.” It is precisely this unlikely combination of humility and celebrity that enchants audiences and keeps fans intoxicated with his one-of-a-kind bluegrass sound.

This outstanding bluegrass performance was taped at the 2001 Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Morehead, KY.