RALPH STANLEY

A Distant Land To Roam

2006-06-23

A Distant Land To Roam, the latest album featuring songs from the Carter family, Ralph Stanley delivers a less than mediocre job. Most of the songs sound a lot alike and there seems to be no emotion in Stanley’s voice. Picture Blue, from the film Old School, singing for 40+ minutes; this is what Stanley sounds like on this album. The songs are taken from the Carter family vault, and Stanley attempts to make them his own via his voice. I realize there are people out there that enjoy Ralph Stanley, however, no need to look any further then his last offering of songs from the Carter family, A Distant Land To Roam follows suit in a very similar, similar way.
- Lane Zoerhof

On the bright side: This album is produced by T-Bone Burnett, as was the Oh Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack, the first album that actually made some decent cash and huge exposure for the Mr. Stanley. Ralph’s grandson Nathan Stanley, now 14, is the star of this on-stage lineup. Ralph’s son Ralph “Two” II leads the Clinch Mountain Boys, who back Sr., which makes it three simultaneous generations of Stanleys. AMG has this as Ralph Stanley’s 50th full length release, although they might have missed some. The Carter Family was Stanley Sr.’s major influence growing up, thus the tribute. Admittedly, this is not his best release to date, but may very well sell the most copies. -Pete

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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