Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs - Foggy Mountain Special
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Foggy Mountain Special (Copper Creek, 2003)

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

Lester, Earl and the Foggy Mountain Boys helped make bluegrass music what it is today. Their vocals and harmonies are legendary. Just as legendary though, are their instrumental numbers. The songs featured here are all instrumentals, and primarily showcase the work of Earl Scruggs on banjo and 'Uncle Josh' Graves on Dobro. Both Scruggs and Graves revolutionized their respective instruments and set the standard for several generations of bluegrass players.

We're reminded just how masterful these pickers were on classics like, "Ground Speed," "Earl's Breakdown," "Foggy Mountain Chimes," "Shuckin' The Corn," "Foggy Mountain Special" and "The Randy Lynn Rag." All were written and recorded in the '50s and '60s. Each one has a signature sound, whether it's the use of harmonics, innovative tuning or just its breakneck tempo.

This CD may remind some of the "Foggy Mountain Banjo" record although only "Ground Speed" from that release is included here.

Classic music never goes out of style. If we're lucky, it just gets re-packaged and introduced to new audiences. As bluegrass music goes off in new directions, it's great to be able to go back and listen to the masters to be reminded where it all started.

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