Wally Bryson & the Blaylock Brothers | Bluegrass

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by Wally Bryson & the Blaylock Brothers

Spring Fed Records reissue of Davis Unlimited DU-33011, Bluegrass. Features bluegrass favorites played by fiddler, Wally Bryson; banjoist, Clyde Blaylock; and guitarist, Ralph Blaylock.
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Will There Be Sweethearts in Heaven
3:10 $0.99
2. Bill Cheatam
1:44 $0.99
3. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
2:56 $0.99
4. Big Tilda
2:19 $0.99
5. Maiden's Prayer
2:58 $0.99
6. Black Mountain Rag
2:28 $0.99
7. Weeping Willow
2:38 $0.99
8. Money, Marbles, And Chalk
3:15 $0.99
9. Lay Your Head on My Shoulder
2:47 $0.99
10. Please Remember That I Love You
3:17 $0.99
11. Orange Blossom Special
3:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Sequatchie Valley-Chattanooga region of Tennessee and Georgia is a very scenic and historic part of the Southeastern United States. Landmarks such as Signal Mountain and Lookout Mountain are familiar tourist attractions, and reflect the areas historical heritage. However, this area also has a musical heritage of considerable importance. Names like the Allen Brothers and Fiddlin’ Bob Douglas are already legendary among old-time music enthusiasts. Destined, we feel, to be added to the list of well-known and respected traditional musicians from the Chattanooga area are Clyde and Ralph Blaylock and Wally Bryson.

Ralph and Clyde Blaylock were born in Catoosa County, Georgia on April 9, 1933 and October 25, 1934, respectively. Their interest in old-time music stems from their father, Coy Blaylock, who was, according to them, “The start of it all.” Coy Blaylock was himself a first-rate fiddler whose forty-two years of fiddling saw him playing for dances and fiddle contests (he competed against such fiddlers as Lowe Stokes, Clayton McMichen, Sawmill Tom Smith, and Bob Douglas) all over the states of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. The Blaylock Brothers’ early exposure to old-time music did not come just from their father, but also several uncles on their mother’s side who were also fiddlers. Around 1940 they moved to Hixson, Tennessee (a suburb of Chattanooga). When Ralph was fourteen and Clyde thirteen they “nickeled and dimed” and bought an old Kalamazoo guitar for about fifteen dollars. With the help of a lady in their neighborhood, both of the brothers learned to play the instrument. However, Clyde’s interest soon changed to the mandolin; an instrument he mastered quite well.

Both brothers were in military service during the 1950s. Ralph’s service time in the marines was spent in Japan and the Far East. Clyde joined the army in 1957 and was stationed in Iceland. Both brothers continued their musical endeavors with various groups during their service careers. While stationed in Iceland, Clyde bought his first 5-string banjo, and since then has devoted his time almost exclusively to this instrument; becoming a real master on it. In fact, several aspirant banjo pickers in the Chattanooga area have thought so highly of Clyde’s banjo techniques they have sought him out as a teacher. As a testimony to this ability as both musician and teacher, it should be noted that his students have done exceedingly well in banjo picking contests at numerous fiddlers conventions in the Southeast.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the Blaylock Brothers began singing together in earnest. Their first performances included some of the more popular country and western material of the time, but as their repertory and style took shape they began to play more and more bluegrass material until their performances consisted exclusively of bluegrass. Their first band, The Lone Oak Mountain Boys, which was formed in 1964, was quite successful during the mid-1960s, playing numerous show dates and winning several bluegrass band contests. Unfortunately, the band drifted apart, and it wasn’t until the early part of 1974 that another band was formed – the band heard on this album. This ban, which goes under the name of Wally Bryson and the Blaylock Brothers, was formed at a fiddler’s convention in Dalton, Georgia. That was a truly memorable day for the group! They were awarded first place in the band competition, Clyde took top honors in the banjo contest, and Wally Bryson was proclaimed the best fiddler at the convention. Since that time the band has won six additional titles, including the Southeastern Tennessee and Alabama State titles.

Wally Bryson, whose fine fiddling on this record compliments the Blaylock’s traditional bluegrass sound quite well, is already well known to fiddling fans across the country. Wally’s first album on Davis Unlimited (DU 33006 “Country Fiddling with Wally Bryson”) has been well received, and a second album of fiddle tunes is being planned. 1974 has been a good year for Wally, fiddling-wise. He has entered a number of contests and is always “in the money,” if not in the number one position. Without a doubt, his most cherished victory came at the Gadsden, Alabama convention where he won the 1974 Alabama State Fiddling Championship!

Rounding out the band are Pete Watson on rhythm guitar and Marshall Smith on bass. Pete has been playing backup guitar with Wally Bryson for several years now. His strong rhythm and solid bass runs have earned him the reputation of being one of the best rhythm men in the Chattanooga area.

At many of their fiddle convention appearances the group is joined by Ralph’s sixteen year old son, Edward, who plays the washtub bass. Dressed in red shirts and blue overalls, the group makes a fine sight to watch as well as providing great listening enjoyment. We hope that you will find as much enjoyment from listening to the group on this album as the crowds have gad from listening to their live performances.

From the original liner notes by Steve Davis



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