Traditional Bluegrass

The Vern Williams Band

Arhoolie Records, purveyors of some of the best and most authentic roots recordings around, recently released this collection of 16 songs recorded by the Vern Williams Band at various gigs in Grass Valley, Berkeley and Vancouver, BC, during the period 1982-1988. Arkansan Vern Williams’ singing and mandolin playing are pure, rippin’, hardcore bluegrass. Ditto for band mates Del Williams on guitar and vocals, Keith Little on banjo and vocals, Ed Neff on fiddle and Kevin Thompson on bass. Vern’s voice has the serious tenor twang goin’ on—High Lonesome at its very best. His versions of the Louvin Brothers’ “Bald Knob, Arkansas” and Bill Monroe’s “Can’t You Hear Me Calling” are great. Del Williams’ lead singing on “Love Me Darling Just Tonight” (“Love me darling just tonight/ Take your arms and hold me tight/ Tomorrow you may hold another/ Love me darling just tonight…”) is similarly irresistible. This album is a must-have for lovers of real bluegrass! (