Brett Ratliff | Cold Icy Mountain

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june appal recordings - official website

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United States - Kentucky

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Folk: Appalachian Folk Country: Traditional Country Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Cold Icy Mountain

by Brett Ratliff

The collection of Appalachian music on Cold Icy Mountain has the power of a mine explosion, the power of young lust, war, a mountain politician who bought votes with magnificent banjo tunes, and the power of the many banjo balladeers who came before.
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Darling Don’t You Know That’s Wrong
3:07 $0.99
2. Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow
3:01 $0.99
3. Last Payday at Coal Creek
2:14 $0.99
4. Nine Miles Out of Louisville
4:15 $0.99
5. Trouble on My Mind
2:27 $0.99
6. Getting Wild Again
3:36 $0.99
7. High Up on a Mountaintop
3:17 $0.99
8. Blue Goose
4:03 $0.99
9. Forked Deer
2:38 $0.99
10. Bumblebee in a Jug
2:50 $0.99
11. The War is A-Raging for Johnny
3:34 $0.99
12. Young People Who Delight in Sin
3:09 $0.99
13. Born in East Kentucky
3:21 $0.99
14. Cold Icy Mountain
2:38 $0.99
15. Feed My Horse on Corn and Hay
3:41 $0.99
16. The Blind Man
2:51 $0.99
17. Wish I Had Stayed in the Wagon Yard
2:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Not since the haunting and powerful music of Kentucky balladeers such as Roscoe Holcomb and Pete Steele has there been an equal in beauty, force and command of the Kentucky ballad and banjo tradition—until now. Brett Ratliff carries on this legacy in a way that only an east Kentucky native could with his new album Cold Icy Mountain. Filled with soulful banjo ballads and rousing string band tunes, this album will have listeners dancing and crying—sometimes at the same time. Cold Icy Mountain brings chilling ballads that make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, while knock-down, foot-stomping banjo songs will have you up out of your chair.

Raised by a coal miner and teacher in Van Lear, Kentucky, Brett Ratliff grew up with a love for the mountains, its people, and its culture. As a youngster, Brett starting singing in church and sang along to recordings of Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. As a teenager he began playing guitar for bluegrass bands. But when Brett met musical father and son Jamie and Jesse Wells he became hooked on the moving, emotionally charged mountain music of his home. Since then, Brett has learned banjo tunes and ballads from some of the masters of old time music, like knock-down banjo player George Gibson of Knott County or Pike County fiddle and banjo player Paul David Smith.

Brett’s many musical influences are heard throughout this powerful collection of Kentucky music. In addition to beautiful and ghostly banjo ballads, Brett is joined by members the Clack Mountain String Band for songs and tunes that range from Rufus Crisp’s Blue Goose to Perry Riley’s Gettin’ Wild Again. Comprised of Jesse Wells on fiddle, Karly Higgins on guitar and harmony vocals, and J.T. Cure on bass, these four Kentucky natives create an energetic, hard-driving sound playing the music of their home state. On a few tunes you’ll catch Adrian Powell, best known for his fiddling with Matt Kinman and the Old Time Serenaders, and Julie Shepherd, an award-winning flatfoot dancer. These people play, as John Cohen said of Roscoe Holcomb, on the edge.

The collection of music on Cold Icy Mountain has the power of a mine explosion, the power of young lust, the power of war, the power of a mountain politician who bought votes with magnificent banjo tunes, and the power of the many banjo balladeers that came before Brett Ratliff. Listen to Cold Icy Mountain and be forewarned. You may never sleep again.



to write a review

David Wright

Cold Icy Mountain
I listen to this album driving home in the Alabama end of the Appalachian moutains by some working coal mines in "Walker County". There is history and old country to the music and tales of a simpler time. Some of the songs are chilling so the title is relevant. The variety and tempo change between songs kept my interest through the entire album. "The War is A-Raging for johnny" touched me the most being from a miltary family and all.