Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Bargain Basement
Music DVD
Send Us Mail
Contact Us

Tribute To Jimmy Martin "The King Of Bluegrass"

Koch Records

This record is a singular anomaly. It's a group of incredible musicians who have gotten together to record some of the most famous of Jimmy Martin tracks, polish them up, and release them for the world to rediscover the talent that Jimmy really was. Sometimes shadowed by the more well known bluegrass acts, such as Bill Monroe or Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin was one of the few musicians that took bluegrass and delivered it to the masses, sometimes thru others, and sometimes thru his own recordings. This tribute is a fitting introduction to the music of Jimmy, or, for those already initiated, a great collection of some of his most well remembered tracks.

But, that is not where the beauty of this record ends. Each of the featured artists on these songs, at one time played with Jimmy Martin in the Sunny Mountain Boys. We have J.D. Crowe and Kenny Ingram playing banjo, just as good or better than they ever did in the 1960's. There is Paul Williams and Audie Blaylock alternately singing leads and trading duties on mandolin. So really, this album is a tribute to not only Martin himself, but to some of the boys that played with him and wrote or co-wrote so many of his hits. The players are in top form, even though they have not been highly active in the bluegrass industry for over 30 years.

From the opening banjos of "Sophronie", the prowess of these players is immediately obvious, and the album is kicked off in high-energy fashion. Kenny Ingram lays down some sweet clawhammer style banjo on "You Don't Know My Mind" while Audie Blaylock sings away in his smooth baritone. Possibly Jimmy Martin's most famous composition, "Losing You" is well represented here, with dueling lead vocals and a tremendously heartful fiddle solo, courtesy of Mike Cleveland. Other highlights include "Doin' My Time", as made famous by Johnny Cash, and a fantastic version of "What Would You Give". Hearing some of these songs for the first time in many years is very refreshing to me, once again awaking memories of when I was a wee youngster sitting on the porch with my granddad after a good day of work out in the pasture. And you can't think of Jimmy Martin without thinking of "I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes", and that song is very well represented here, featuring a tremendously clear vocal performance by Paul Williams, and some great signature J.D. Crowe banjo picking.

When it comes down to it, this is simply great bluegrass music, played by some great bluegrass players. Near encyclopedic in its choice of songs, this album is a fantastic sampling of classic bluegrass tunes for the aged devotee or for the new-to-bluegrass listener. The spirit of the album as a tribute to Jimmy Martin only sweetens the deal.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Sonny Osborne Introduction
2. Sophronie
3. You Don't Know My Mind
4. Losing You
5. There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
6. She's Left Me Again
7. Doin' My Time
8. I Cried Again
9. Home Run Man
10. Ocean Of Diamonds
11. God Guide Our Leader's Hand
12. What Would You Give In Exchange
13. I Like To Hear 'Em Preach
14. Hold Whatcha got
15. My Walkin' Shoes
16. Steppin' stones
17. I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes
18. Tennessee

Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!


Mike Doughty

none now

South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

Rachel Fredrickson

Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo

Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Lawrence, KS

hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.