Country Gentlemen - Joe's Last Train
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Joe's Last Train (Rebel, 2005)

Country Gentlemen

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

This Country Gentlemen CD reissue from 1976 relies heavily on the beautiful voice of Charlie Waller, but also exposes a new generation to Bill Yates' vocals (Ed Ferris played bass) and the early work of Doyle Lawson. On Dobro is Mike Auldridge. (The cover features the group as railroad bums - an interesting image for the dapper Lawson.)

The Country Gentlemen often flirted with the fringes of Monroe-Stanley bluegrass, and some numbers are not widely known, but "Dixieland For Me," featuring Lawson as lead vocalist, has been around as well Willie Nelson's "Bloody Mary Morning" and "Cryin' Holy."

Some will remember Gene Autry's "Ages and Ages Ago" sung as only Waller could, and they do a beautiful job with "Lord Don't Leave Me Here" sung a cappella, a precursor to Lawson's later work.

On this album, you hear the expert instrumentalists you expect, but the vocal work provides the anchor. The harmonies are beautiful, and you'll realize again what a gem was lost with the passing of Charlie Waller.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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