Don Rigsby is a lifelong fan of Ralph Stanley. Getting to meet his hero backstage at Ashland, Ky’s, Paramount Theatre as a 6-year-old in 1974, influenced Rigsby’s life and the style of music he still performs today.
So, it was only natural that Rigsby would someday do a tribute album to his hero.
The title, “Doctor’s Orders,” is a play on Stanley’s 1976 honorary doctorate of music degree from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn.
Stanley has used Dr. in front of his name ever since.
Rigsby, who made his mark on bluegrass as a member of J.D. Crowe’s New South, the Bluegrass Cardinals and the Lonesome River Band before fronting his own band, Midnight Call, brought in three of Stanley’s former band members — Larry Sparks, Ricky Skaggs and Charlie Sizemore – who went on to have solo careers of their own to help on the album.
Stanley himself helped select the 14 songs. He sings a duet with Rigsby on “The Daughter of Geronimo,” tenor on “Home In The Mountains” and plays banjo on “Traveling The Highway Home.”
Stanley introduced a capella singing to bluegrass. And Rigsby honors that tradition with an a capella “Sinner Man.”
Thirteen of the songs are songs associated with Stanley. The 14th is a new song — “The Mountain Doctor” — written by Rigsby and Larry Cordle that tells how Stanley’s music will take away your pain.
Songs include “Brand New Tennessee Waltz,” “Wild Geese Cry Again,” “Little Maggie,” “I Only Exist,” “Six More Miles,” “Walking Up This Hill On Decoration Day,” “Medicine Springs,” “Tennessee Truck Driving Man” and “The Water Lily.”
It’s a strong album for Stanley fans and lovers of traditional bluegrass music with some great harmony singing.
Can’t find it in stores? Try Amazon.com or other Internet outlets.