I always loved to hear John Duffey sing tenor, pick his mandolin, and watch him perform on stage. This CD is a real pleasure to listen to, as it captures John at some of his best.
These recordings span the period 1961-1977. It brings his music to folks that may never have experienced his presence at a hot bluegrass festival, as I had done in countless summers. Unfortunately it does not include a visual of him in action which was every bit as much of his performances as his exceptional music. This CD includes cuts by both The Country Gentlemen, and The Seldom Scene.
This is a CD that will please all listeners of music, and I have to admit, that I did shed a tear again realizing that an end of an era occurred with his death on December 10, 1996--just three monthes before that of Bill Monroe's death on September 9, 1996. That was a bad period of time for me as it was for many. I alway knew Bill Monroe would not live forever as he was getting older, but, I never realized that John Duffey would also die. Bill Monroe lived a long full life, John Duffey's life was cut short.
I was fortunate and blessed to have seen Monroe and Duffy share the stage on occasion, and witness that they both obviously had appreciated each other on their own merits.
All cuts here are excellent, but I especially enjoyed hearing "Girl from The North Country," "I'm Working On A Road" and "The Young Fisherman," a few tunes not often heard by me as some of the others.
Many today may not know that John was also an amazing luthier, coming from the period of 1950's-1960's, when independent instrument makers were not as common as they are today. He did his own repairs, designed and built a mandolin commonly called "the duck" as it had the body shape of what I believe looked like a mallard duck in flight.
His showmanship, picking and singing were unmatched. The funny thing is that nobody has tried to duplicate his style unlike that of other greats such as Bill Monroe--maybe because it took the real John Duffey to do John Duffey? He was the genuine article.
I wrote this soon after his death, and it was presented to his family and fans through my bluegrass loopl. A nephew of John’s said that he appreciated it. I want everybody to know that I really appreciated John Duffy.