Friday, 7 June 2013

The New Kentucky Colonels: Live In Holland 1973

Roland White sends word that this long awaited concert recording is now available. Those of you who witnessed this premiere band during their 1973 European tour will no doubt want this CD in your hands and ears as soon as possible. For those too young to have had that opportunity in '73, this is a fine piece of music history for your bluegrass education. "The New Kentucky Colonels" included The White BrothersRoland (the sole surviving brother who is still musically active today) on mandolin, Eric Jr. on bass, and legendary guitarist Clarence White; plus banjo player Herb Pederson. Naturally the playing was outstanding -- but their high lonesome vocal harmonies reach a quality level most performers can only dream about. Simply outstanding bluegrass music.

From CD liner notes of Mary Katherine Aldin: Rarely has there been a bluegrass “find” like these recordings. A never-before-heard concert tape of The New Kentucky Colonels recorded during a 1973 tour of Holland and then stored away for nearly four decades, these tracks sound as fresh and vital today as they did when they were originally recorded. The tour started in Holland in May 1973, and included several dates in England, Wales and Sweden. They returned to the USA to play the Indian Springs, Maryland bluegrass festival. A few short weeks later, Clarence was killed on July 15 by a drunk driver while he and Roland were loading equipment into their car after a gig in California. So this album contains some of the final recordings ever made of the three White brothers, playing bluegrass music together as they had done for most of their lives.

From CD liner notes by Herb Pedersen: It was in May of 1973 when I was asked to play a musical part of the “New Kentucky Colonels” tour going to Holland and Sweden. As young as they were, I’ll never forget the talent they had back then. To be a small part of their musical history was a blessing for me and a wonderful introduction into the world of real bluegrass music.

Herb, Roland, Eric Jr. and Clarence
Het Turfschip in Breda, NL 1973

From CD liner notes by Roland White:
After working one year and two months with Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys, and almost four years in Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass band, I got a phone call from my brother Clarence. He said the folk-rock group The Byrds had disbanded and would I be interested in getting our Kentucky Colonels group together again? Of course I would! But who should we call on to fill out the band? What about our brother Eric to play bass? Yes, he was ready and eager! Byrds' record producer Jim Dickson suggested that we call on Herb Pedersen to play banjo, and we had our band. We played the concert on this recording at Het Turfschip (a large concert hall) in Breda, NL. To play with my brothers again was a dream come true. We had played music together since the 1950s. When we got together again it was like taking an old clock out of the attic and winding it up and tick, tick, tick, it still runs perfectly! Clarence's flatpicking was fast, accurate, clear, and ballads soulful. His playing has influenced all flatpickers since he began being heard, and will for generations to come. Eric's bass playing is just exceptionally great. Then there is Herb Pedersen with his hard driving banjo and fabulous vocals. He blended like another brother. Because of his command of the high vocal range we were able to do some great trio arrangements -- "Is This My Destiny" especially stands out. I’m listening to it now and I’ve got goose bumps.

Listen to song samples and buy this new CD directly from
Roland White at www.rolandwhite.com .