Next up our vinyl hit list this afternoon is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me and, hopefully, a bit of an education for HRH in discovering bluegrass. While I could have picked any handful of classic bluegrass albums, I decided to go with this ‘The Story of Bonnie & Clyde‘ by two of the most notable bluegrass musicians and contributors Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.
Both Flatt and Scruggs were among the founding members of the ever-popular Foggy Mountain Boys, formed back in the late-40’s and widely considered to be one of the most influential of bluegrass groups. Lester Flatt originally worked for Bill Monroe at the time Earl Scruggs was considered for Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys. The two left that band early in 1948, and within a few months had formed the Foggy Mountain Boys, of which, The Soggy Bottom Boys in the popular Coen brothers film ‘Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?‘ (2000) was modeled as a tribute. Both men would end up elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.
This album in particular released on Columbia Records in 1968 – the heyday of all things hippie and otherwise psychedelic – is largely inspired by and crafted around two poems (click HERE) written by the notorious Bonnie Parker while she and Clyde Barrow were on the run from the law in the 1930’s. From beginning to end, it’s basically a rehashing of their swath of crime and murder across the mid-West during the Great Depression. So, yeah, it’s a bit of a history lesson to boot; not that HRH cares much for gangsters mind you, but she sure seems to dig on the banjo well enough. I’ll take that a moral victory in switching her on to bluegrass in general. Now, if I could only figure out a way to successfully win her over on jazz.