VARIOUS ARTISTS, “Life Goes On,” Rural Rhythm. 39 tracks.

VARIOUS ARTISTS, “Life Goes On,” Rural Rhythm. 39 tracks.

Not only is this one of the best bluegrass albums you’ll hear in 2012, it’s the best bargain you’ll find.

Thirty-nine songs performed by a total of 139 artists in a two-CD set.

And it’s for a good cause.

Musicians Against Childhood Cancer stages a summer festival each year outside Columbus, Ohio, to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Darrel and Phyllis Adkins founded the program after their daughter, Amanda Lynn “Mandy” Adkins was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumor and died on Nov. 25, 2000.

Performances at the festival are recorded, edited and released as CDs to help raise even more money. In 2006, the International Bluegrass Music Association named one of those albums, “Celebration of  Life,” as its album of the year.

“Life Goes On” is just as good.

Highlights include “Beyond The Sunset For Me”, an a capella gospel quartet with Doyle Lawson, Russell Moore, Jamie Dailey and Josh Swift; Pine Mountain Railroad’s “I Got A Woman,” a great blend of rock’n’roll and bluegrass; Shawn Camp’s “In The Time That You Gave Me”; Bradley Walker’s “Revelation”; Josh Williams’ “Across The Great Divide”; Rhonda Vincent’s “The Water is Wide”; Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey”; Sally Connell’s “Give My Love To Rose”;  JoshWilliams and Don Rigsby’s “Where The Soul Never Dies”; Junior Sisk’s “He Died A Rounder At 21”; James King’s “Memories of Mother”; Larry Cordle’s “Old Violin” and the title cut with Carl Jackson, Ronnie Bowman, Cordle, Jerry Salley and Rickey Wasson.

Great album.

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.ruralrhythm.com.

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