Inimitable Ralph Stanley Wraps Up Eventful Year
Norma Morris, Morris Public Relations
As he prepares to launch a new album of Appalachian spirituals, the inimitable Ralph Stanley is wrapping up one of the most eventful seasons of his storied 64-year musical career.
In October, the 83-year-old singer performed in the "Speaking Clock Revue" concerts, organized by Oscar- and Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett and co-starring Elton John, Leon Russell, John Mellencamp, Jeff Bridges and Neko Case. (Stanley was also a key attraction in Burnett’s multi-star "Down From The Mountain Tour" in 2002 and "Great High Mountain Tour" in 2004).
On Sept. 30, Stanley and co-writer Eddie Dean won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s print media award for Stanley’s autobiography, Man Of Constant Sorrow: My Life And Times. The autobiography was released last October to near universal praise. The New York Times called the memoir “a lot like the man himself: warm, folksy, down to earth, plainspoken, a little blunt and prickly at times.” The paperback edition is now out, and the book is also available on Amazon’s Kindle reader.
In August, famed cellist Dave Eggars released Kingston Morning, an album that features Stanley singing the old hymn, “Jacob’s Vision.” And in April, Ballet Nouveau Colorado debuted a new dance routine based on Stanley’s “Hemlock and Primroses.”
On July 14, Stanley performed at New York’s Lincoln Center with Randy Travis, Allison Moorer, Ray Benson and the Yonder Mountain String Band as part of a series curated by The Blind Boys of Alabama. Stanley subsequently toured with The Blind Boys.
In May, Stanley presided over his 40th annual "Hills of Home Bluegrass Music Festival." a landmark event that featured music by Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Gillian Welch, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, as well as several rousing sets by Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys.
Year 2011 marks Stanley’s 40th anniversary with Rebel Records. In recognition of that milestone, Rebel will release on March 8, 2011, a newly recorded collection of Appalachian spirituals called A Mother’s Prayer, with album notes by Grammy-winner Colin Escott. The recording is Stanley’s 33rd for Rebel Records.
Written By: Norma Morris, Morris Public Relations