He Just Keeps Going ...

Curly Seckler Copper Creek Records)
Bluegrass Don't You Know

By Bob Mitchell

Seckler is the bluegrass equivalent of the famous battery that just keeps going and going and going. After a 70-year career, it's not possible to say anything that has not been said many times before. After a while all reviewers run out of superlatives, but I can say Seckler still delivers the real thing. When his name is listed on the CD, a listener can be assured of old time bluegrass with authentic acoustic instruments, heartfelt vocals and spine tingling harmonies.

Bluegrass, Don't You Know, like Seckler's previous release, Down in Caroline (reviewed in the October 2006 issue of Bluegrass Now) is another well-crafted recording that unabashedly showcases the pure tone and color of traditional Bluegrass. There are no surprises here. He sticks to the style of music that has endeared him to generations of fans and musicians and also earned him a place in the hall of honor. At age 86, he still handles the lyric and melody with the assurance of a first generation gentleman who laid the foundation for this unique American art form.

Seckler, like any wise leader, surrounded himself with talented musicians who respect tradition. Band members include Dudley O'Connell, Larry Perkins and Chris Sharp on guitar, George Buckner on banjo, Bob Moore, Kevin Sluder and Kent Blanton on bass, Tater Tate and Laura Weber Cash on fiddle, Hershel Sizemore and Brent Truitt on mandolin, Rob Ickes on Dobro, Russell Moore, Laura Weber Cash and Penny Parsons on harmony.

Some of my personal favorites include an excellent cover of Lester Flatt's "Brother, I'm Getting Ready To Go," with Larry Sparks lending his extraordinary lead vocal; an energetic "Why Did You Wander" and "We Can't Be Darlings Anymore" with the vocal styling of Dudley Connell; " I Love You Until I Am Dizzy," a lighthearted tune with some spicy fiddling and vocal work from Laura Cash; Seckler's original title track, a fabulous historical musical mini-series of bluegrass and his eloquently well-known "That Old Book Of Mine."

For more information, check out www.CopperCreekRecords.com.