With his high lonesome tenor and phenomenal banjo picking, 73-year-old Ralph Stanley is one of the giants of Bluegrass.
Born in the Clinch Mountains of Stratton, Virginia, Ralph and his brother Carter formed the Stanley Brothers in 1946, and recorded for Columbia, Starday and Cincinnati's own King record label. When Carter Stanley died in 1966, Ralph considered retiring, but after receiving overwhelming encouragement from friends, family and fans, Ralph decided to continue on with the Clinch Mountain Boys. Recently, Ralph is in the spotlight with the release of the new Coen Brothers Film O Brother Where Art Thou? The film's soundtrack contains a couple of Stanley Brothers recordings and the film's highpoint is a cover of the brothers' "I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow" by the Soggy Bottom Boys. Opening for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys is Lee Rolfes at the Southgate House Saturday.