50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Box Set of Bluegrass Country Soul has been released today.
In 1971, Norman Lear’s All in the Family premiered on CBS-TV, a jury convicted the Manson Family, Richard Nixon bombed Cambodia and opened trade with Red China, and hundreds of thousands of Americans marched in the streets demanding that our troops be brought home from Vietnam.
In rural North Carolina, Carlton Haney held his 7th Annual Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Music Festival. Performers included most of the top names in this musical style: Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Chubby Wise, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, The Osborne Brothers, The Country Gentlemen, J.D. Crowe, and others. One man was conspicuous by his absence. Bill Monroe, considered by many to be the “Father of Bluegrass Music,” had appeared in Haney’s festivals up until then, but that summer they had a contract dispute. Without Monroe in the spotlight, other performers moved to centre stage, including a number of young artists just beginning their careers: Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, and Ricky Skaggs.
Ten thousand people came from far and wide to attend those 3 days of music. Young and old, country folk and city folk, “long-hairs and short-hairs,” were all united by their love of the music. Quite by chance, a group of young filmmakers came down from Washington, DC to document the bluegrass festival experience. The result of their efforts was the first feature motion picture about this music, titled Bluegrass Country Soul.
We would later learn that this festival was, as Sam Bush describes it, “the weekend it all changed.” The Bluegrass Alliance, The New Deal String Band and The Bluegrass 45 played songs by Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Donovan, and The Dave Brubeck Quartet in the bluegrass style. Cliff Waldron & The New Shades of Grass received the award for “Most Promising Group of 1971.” Tony Rice joined J.D. Crowe in a band that would soon be called The New South. If that was not enough to history making, the day after the festival closed, Sam Bush formed The New Grass Revival. This was the time when New Grass was new; yet, these same musicians continued to play traditional pieces with the same level of commitment.
Now, as we approach the 50th anniversary of that historic festival, we announce the release of the brand new, box set titled Bluegrass Country Soul – The Legendary Festival, celebrating all the bluegrass artists who were there.
Each set contains a Combo Pack (a hi-definition Blu-ray in enhanced, Dolby, surround sound, and a standard DVD) of the newly restored feature motion picture, Bluegrass Country Soul, plus the following:
- A 168-page, coffee table book with hundreds of colour photos and anecdotes by musicians and filmmakers, telling behind the scenes stories.
- Additional music from the festival that is not used in the film – a 2-CD set with 24 songs, band introductions, stage announcements, and part of the awards show at the close of the weekend.
- Special Features on the DVD include recent interviews with Bobby Osborne, DelMcCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, J.D. Crowe, MissyRaines, Bill Emerson, Ronnie Reno, Akira Otsuka, Bob “Quail” White, and others.
- A new, 30-minute documentary about “The Making of the First Bluegrass Movie”
- Fred Bartenstein, noted bluegrass music historian, provides an up-to-date commentary track on the movie
- Reproductions of pages from the “Muleskinner News” summer and fall, 1971
- A handbill and poster of the motion picture, and more
The International Bluegrass Music Association’s Foundation Trust Fund will share in profits from this venture. This one-of-a-kind collector’s item may be ordered through the website BluegrassCountrySoul.com.
Bluegrass Country Soul – The Legendary Festival 3 DVDs, 2 CDs, a 168-page ook, plus souvenirs in a custom designed case, (net weight 6 lbs.) available through BluegrassCountrySoul.com, $US144.95 (including free US shipping)
If you are interested in a copy of this collection please let me know. If we place a bulk order with the publishers we can negotiate a discount and share the international freight costs to reduce the delivered cost here to Australia. Email me at ed****@au*****************.com