A Distant Land to Roam: Ralph Stanley Sings Songs of The Carter Family

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The 79-year-old Ralph’s wizened voice makes whatever he sings sound like it was down from Mt. Sinai along with the Ten Commandments. This time he applies that voice to country music’s own bible, the songbook of The Carter Family. Ralph shares the group’s Appalachian roots, and is clearly at home with cornerstones like “Motherless Children” and “Worried Man Blues.” And he smartly avoids the more obvious items from the Carter catalog—“Keep on the Firing Line” is here, but not “Keep on the Sunny Side.”

—Chris Neal

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