This recording is as much about rockabilly, ‘50s country and blues as it is about bluegrass - more a hybrid by a young, but seasoned, combo in changing musical times. The Bluegrass Champs held their own or even bested other Washington D.C. talents like Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, Link Wray and Charlie Daniels. They had spent most all of their lives in music and in the late 1950’s were soaking up all the new sounds without denying airy mountain roots. Made up of four members of Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Pop Stoneman’s family, the Bluegrass Champs were master musicians by 1958.
Omnivore's 2013 double-disc set Buck Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967) provides an interesting spin on Buck Owens: through a collection of mono singles, live tracks, alternate takes, early 45s, and other rarities, it tells an alternate history of Buck's prime years. If there's a hit on this 50-track collection, it's almost always in a version that's slightly different than what usually shows up on a standard greatest-hits. "Second Fiddle," "Love's Gonna Live Here," "I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)," "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," and "Before You Go" are all in mono, there's an early version of "Ain't It Amazing Gracie," and "Act Naturally" is live, so they're familiar enough to not feel jarring and they do provide the core of a collection that winds up wandering into some pretty interesting territory.
INSPIRATION was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group. Prior to Inspiration, Sam Rivers hadn't recorded for a major label in nearly 20 years, and he hadn't cut a studio session in two decades. That doesn't mean he was inactive; he was teaching, playing, and giving concerts but never recording. Aware that many of Rivers' big-band compositions – not only his recent material, but some earlier works as well – had never been given the proper treatment, saxophonist Steve Coleman helped arrange a recording contract with BMG, with the end result being the astonishing Inspiration album.