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LARRY SPARKS AND THE LONESOME RAMBLERS - CHRISTMAS IN THE HILLS (REB-1745), 2016
Larry Sparks: Guitar, Vocals
Tommy Boyd: Banjo on tracks 1, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11, Dobro on tracks 8, 9 & 10, Tenor Vocals on tracks 1, 5, 7, 8 & 11
Tim Duran: Mandolin on tracks 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11, Baritone Vocal on track 5
Bob Poole: Bass on tracks 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11
Bobby Slone: Fiddle on tracks 7, 8 & 11
Scott Napier: Mandolin on tracks 2, 4, 6 & 12
Tim Caudill: Bass on tracks 2, 3, 4, 6 & 12
Jim Britton: Banjo on tracks 4 & 6, Tenor Vocal on track 4
Portions of this album were originally issued on King Bluegrass Records (KB-559) in 1976.
Produced by Robert Trout
Recorded at Lemco Sound Studio, Lexington, KY
Engineered by Cecil Jones
Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6 & 12 recorded at Jordan Recording Studio, Covington, KY, April 1997
Engineered by Dennis Hensley
Remastered by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering, Boulder, CO
The original 1976 LP release of Larry Sparks and The Lonesome Ramblers' Christmas In The Hills
on King Bluegrass #559 contained songs written especially for the album by Larry ("It's Christmas Time") and banjo player Tommy Boyd ("Christmas Memories"). The 1997 reissue on Rebel-CD-1745 included two new compositions by noted bluegrass songwriter Bill Castle: "The Birthday of Our King" and "Christmas in the Mountains"
This compilation consists of recordings made two decades apart by Larry Sparks and two different configurations of The Lonesome Ramblers; but the essential sound is the same, tied together by Larry's unmistakable voice and dynamic guitar playing. Tim Duran and Scott Napier both complement the ensemble with their mandolin work, as do Tom Boyd and Jim Britton on banjo; the years that separate their performances disappear as their contributions mesh perfectly with the group sound.