Monday, June 18, 2007
Apparently, Carl Story was a musician who had regional popularity that never quite caught on outside of North Carolina. He was heard very often on local radio and the recordings that make up this 7-inch EP were captured from original acetates recorded by friends and fans of the band outside of a recording studio.
As of 2002, he had actually released an album of his particular brand of "bluegrass gospel." The album is called The Last Project- Salvation Train. If you like your gospel music with a hillybilly flare then you should check out the new album here. Although, the review of the most recent album claims that Carl Story "has spent his life spreading the news of Jesus Christ" through his music, there's no hint of proselytizing here on this recording.
Carl Story was known for his high-pitched singing style and his banjo player was the well-known Johnnie (or Johnny) Whisnant. Whisnant was greatly influenced by the banjo playing styles of Charlie Poole and Dock Walsh. He recounts a tale of his fascination with the sound that Poole was able to achieve with his instrument: "I’d put it [the record] in my wagon and pull it off in the woods and play that Charlie Poole record, and get my ear right in that speaker on that little old crank phonograph. It wasn't the type of playin' he was doing, which was a three-finger roll, and all. This wasn't what drove me out of my mind. It was the sound that came off that banjo. It was that one particular tone that come out of there that stuck with me all through the years."
It's true that Poole achieved a unique sound with his individual style of picking, but Carl Story's Mountaineers can also boast truly remarkable sounds for those with a bent for early hillbilly.