The Kentucky Colonels only played together for a short period of time, but the legacy of Roland White, and even more so of guitarist Clarence White, has kept the band's name alive. But the White brothers are only two of the many reasons to appreciate this band. For starters, there is the instrumental dexterity of fiddler Scotty Stoneman, banjoist Billy Ray Latham, and bassist Roger Bush. One should also mention that the group is a vocal powerhouse. There are 25 tracks on Livin' in the Past, taken from a number of performances during the early- to mid-'60s, and clocking in at over 73 minutes. The material ranges from the four-part gospel singing of "Get on Your Knees and Pray" to wonderful instrumentals like "Julius Finkbine's Rag." On this latter piece, Clarence White transforms "Beaumont Rag" into a guitar standard, filled with phenomenal flatpicking. On "I Am a Pilgrim," his guitar playing -- as the saying goes -- will knock your hat in the creek. Roland White shows that he's no slouch with some speedy mandolin picking on "Barefoot Nellie," while Stoneman's fiddle shines on "If You're Ever Gonna Love Me." The Whites turn in a great brother duet on "Dark Hollow," and add Bush for a nice trio on "Ocean of Diamonds." This album provides a nice snapshot of the Kentucky Colonels at the height of their powers, and provides a fuller picture of the band's talents than Appalachian Swing! because of the inclusion of vocals. For bluegrass fans who enjoy traditional singing and progressive playing, Livin' in the Past should prove more than satisfactory. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Release Date: 28 February 2010