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Lilly Brothers & Don Stover - What Will I Leave Behind (CD, 2003)

by Joel Stein, 02/20/2004

Lilly Brothers & Don Stover

While banjoist Don Stover is given title credit on this reissue, Everett and Bea Lilly are the real stars of this show. Originally released by County in 1973 by the Lilly Brothers, "What Will I Leave Behind," is a solid example of tight brother styled mountain readings of sacred material. Stover, who contributes baritone vocals in addition to his well placed banjo runs, is never given much room to establish his voice. Instead, we have Bea Lilly taking lead and low tenor vocals, with brother Everett chipping in on high lead and tenor vocals, along with some tasty, if simple, mandolin fills.

Any discussion of either the Lilly Brothers or Don Stover (one could also add Tex Logan) has to come to their signifigant place in the spread of bluegrass music to the northeast--Boston in particular. During the 50's through 1970, these men spread the word of bluegrass through touring, and playing the now famous Hillbilly Ranch. Among the many who fell under their influence are the likes of Peter Rowan, Bill Keith and Joe Val, among others.

That noted, this collection is largely of interest as an historical note. The selections range from the late 1800's to material first popularized by the Monroe Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys. The performances are solid if not a revelation. The notes by Ivan Tribe provide a great service in tracing the geneology of the material. A major disappointment is the 33 minute running time. Even in 1973 when "What Will I Leave Behind" was first released, it would have been considered a short program. With today's extended length available on CD, one would have hoped for some additional material to stretch out the program. That noted, "What Will I Leave Behind" by the Lilly Brothers and Don Stover would be best recommended for hard core fans of brother duets, sacred music or the history of bluegrass in New England.

1. I Would Not Be Denied
2. In A Little Village Churchyard
3. On My Way To Glory
4. What Will I Leave Behind
5. What Would The Profit Be
6. Will You Meet Me Over Yonder
7. I'll Live On
8. I Need The Prayers of Those I Love
9. On The Sunny Side Of Life
10. The Dying Boy's Prayer
11. The Great Reaping Day
12. I Have Found The Way

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