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The Lilly Brothers and Don Stover

What Will I Leave Behind – 2003 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by The Lilly Brothers and Don Stover

A late period album for the Lilly Brothers whose career stretched back to the 1940s, this is also the only gospel album they ever recorded. Here, they are aided by Don Stover, their frequent associate. By 1973, Bea and Everett Lilly had pulled back to only performing a few festival shows each year, yet they managed to release this collection of sacred songs notable for their relatively unknown status. Several of these songs were previously cut by The Monroe Brothers, The Blue Sky Boys and others, yet they are not the usual church hymns and songbook staples that typically get trotted out for this type of project.

The Lillys were a fixture on the Boston scene for many years, and some of these cuts sound more like the hootenanny folk of the 1960s than pure bluegrass gospel, but the brother harmonies shine through nonetheless. Songs like, "Will You Meet Me Over Yonder," "What Would the Profit Be" and the title track deserve to be better known as the gospel music classics they are. Perhaps this reissue will serve to reintroduce the music as well as the performers.