Picks and Pans Review: Ralph Stanley

UPDATED 07/03/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/03/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

A Distant Land to Roam: Songs of the Carter Family

Want to discover the essence of country music? Look no further than this glorious tribute to the Carter family by one of the historic figures in bluegrass. On 13 songs either written by patriarch A.P. Carter or otherwise associated with the Carter family, Stanley's singing reflects all of his 79 years, not only in the inevitable frailty of his voice but in a calm sense of understanding. Whether the tunes are sacred or secular, Stanley treats them with the reverence they deserve. [STARS 4]
DOWNLOAD THIS: "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes"

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