Four post-Flatts albums from the great Earl Scruggs – served up in a single set! First up is Nashville
's Rock – a very unusual album from legendary bluegrass musician Earl Scruggs – a set that has him taking on a whole host of famous 60s rock tunes, and turning them into hip banjo-led instrumentals! By the time of the record, Earl had influenced a host of countless rockers – and it's quite a compelling change for Scruggs to handle material from that same scene, but bring it all right straight back to Nashville
with his performance! Later Scruggs might end up in territory that was too rockish, but this record definitely has his classic sound right up front in the mix – even on the few tracks that might have a female backing chorus. Titles include "Everybody's Talkin", "Nashville
Skyline Rag", "Hey Jude", "Love Is Just A Four Letter Word", "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Honky Tony Women", and "Train Number Forty Five". Dueling Banjos is a record that takes its title from the big Deliverance hit by Eric Weissberg – but a set that reminds the world that when it comes to banjo, there's maybe nobody better than the great Earl Scruggs! And while the record has some of the elements of the Earl Scruggs Revue sound – in that his sons Randy and Gary are on the set – the whole thing is also all instrumental, and has a much more bluegrass-oriented vibe – thanks in part to great help from Vassar Clements on fiddle, Josh Graves on dobro, and Chip Young on guitar! The instrumentation is fantastic – and titles include "Peking Fling", "Just Joshin", "Flint Hill Special", "Black Mountain Blues", "Fireball Mail", and "Lonesome Ruben". Storyteller & The Banjo Man is a fantastic return to form for the great Tom T Hall – and a record that hints a bit at the bluegrass direction his later small label records would take! Earl Scruggs and his sons provide great musical backing, while Tom sings lead in that fantastic style of his – sometimes telling his own stories, sometimes singing the words of others – all in a lean, respectful, acoustic-driven setting that's maybe even better than most of Hall's own records at the time! Titles include "Shackles & Chains", "The Engineers Don't Wave From The Trains Anymore", "Song Of The South", "Don't Give Your Heart To A Rambler", "Dim Lights Thick Smoke", "No Expectations", "There Ain't Country Music On The Jukebox", and "Don't This Road Look Rough & Rocky". Top Of The World is a great late career album from Earl Scruggs – a set that features his sons still in the mix, but with a whole sort of production style and presentation that almost makes the whole thing a tribute to Earl's greatness! There's plenty of strong banjo solos in the lineup – and guests include Ricky Skaggs, Tracey Nelson, and the Burrito Brothers – but all used sparingly, with just the right vocal augmentation next to the instrumentation – and plenty of room for solos throughout. Titles include "Till the End Of The World Rolls Round", "Lay Me Down In Dixie", "Roller Coaster", "Carolina Star", "We'll Meet Again Sweetheart", and "Love Gone Cold".