Always In Style
John DuffeySUG-CD 3926 Sugar Hill Records
PO Box 55300
Durham, NC 27717-5300
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
In a world created by the stony faced visage of Bill Monroe, John Duffey was a stark contrast. He was outspoken, quick-witted and known for wearing loud shirts that may or may not have matched the rest of his clothes. He was irreverent even as he demonstrated a deep love for bluegrass music. He injected tunes from the pop world into the repertoire of his bands, played them bluegrass style right alongside classics from Monroe, Stanley and Flatt and Scruggs. He was his own man, and we loved him for it. |
Always In Style is a compilation of some of Duffey's greatest recorded moments. It is by no means comprehensive, for a project of that scope would fill more than one box set. But it is a fitting tribute to one of bluegrass music's greatest of all high tenors. His upper register could fill several rooms. Always In Style offers a look back at some of his greatest vocal recordings, both at the lead mike, and singing harmony with his fellow band members.
Many of these recordings are from the Seldom Scene and their various configurations from the early 1970's until Duffey's death. Included in this collection are cuts from the Country Gentlemen's reunion album. Hearing Duffey's and Waller's voices sing in the chorus is a special treat. Jon Weisberger offers an exquisite retrospective on Duffey's career. Each cut has the Duffey trademark on it: that blazing mandolin played with a ferocious energy. And that voice.
Longtime fans of Duffey will recognize Always In Style as a fitting tribute. Folks just discovering his music will see what they missed. Man, he was something.