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Stanleys team up for first time

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 – The Stanley family - Ralph and Ralph II - are teaming up to release a new disc in March.

"Side By Side," the new Rebel Records album from the Stanleys will drop Feb. 14 with 14 songs of old and new material.

Co-produced by the younger Stanley and John Rigsby, a former member of the elder Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys band, "Side By Side" includes songs from A. P. Carter, Charlie Monroe, Albert Brumley and Ernest Tubb and two Ralph Stanley originals-as well as samples of Stanley's a cappella and clawhammer banjo stylings.

Two of the musicians who back the Stanleys on the album - fiddler and mandolinist John Rigsby and banjoist Steve Sparkman - are from the 2002 Grammy-winning edition of the Clinch Mountain Boys.

The younger Stanley began performing (on spoons) with his dad when he was just three years old. He went on to become rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist in the Clinch Mountain Boys. While he recorded often with his father in that capacity, this is the first time the two men have released music as artists of equal billing and creative input.

"I'd just been a Clinch Mountain Boy, a band member with dad," Two said, "and I was very proud to be that, but we'd never actually done a duet record like this. Playing with dad, who's so much of a legend, could be intimidating, and he's had such a great long line of lead singers I needed to live up to - (brother) Carter Stanley in the Stanley Brothers days, then Larry Sparks, Keith Whitley and Roy Lee Centers.

"But I've been on my own as a solo artist for about five years now and recorded three albums that way. I'm more experienced and more relaxed today and ready to show people what I can do with the master himself. So, I felt that this would be a good time for us to team back up. I asked dad if he'd be interested in doing something like this with me, and he said yes, he'd love to."

A three-time Grammy winner, Ralph Stanley will turn 87 a week after "Side By Side" is released. He continues to tour and to perform as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Songs on the CD are:
"Wild Bill Jones" (Traditional)
"Carolina Mountain Home" (E. Scarborough, L. Wright)
"Dirty Black Coal" (Ralph Stanley, Earl Sykes)
"Walking With You In My Dreams" (Charlie Monroe)
"Don't Step Over An Old Love" (Fred Stryker)
"Battle Ax" (Arranged by Ralph Stanley)
"Are You Waiting Just For Me" (Ernest Tubb)
"White & Pink Flowers" (Gerald Ellenburg, Shawn Lane)
"A Little At A Time" (Ralph Stanley, M. H. Malone)
"Darling Little Joe" (A. P. Carter)
"Don't Weep For Me" (Buddy Brock, Gerald Ellenburg, Shawn Lane)
"Six Months Ain't Long" (Public Domain)
"Nobody Answered Me" (Albert Brumley)
"I've Still Got 99" (Public Domain, Arranged by Ledford)

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On encountering a new album from an artist whose catalog already runs into triple digits over a career now in its seventh decade, it's easy to wonder how much more he's really got to say. But for Ralph Stanley, now 84 and more than 10 years removed from the renown he gained in the course of the O Brother phenomenon, there's still a deep well of music to be drawn from the lives and faith of his Appalachian forebears. "A Mother's Prayer" is far from his first »»»
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