Review: Let the Light Shine Down: A Gospel Tribute to Bill Monroe

by Lisa Dudley

If you love old time bluegrass and you’re into gospel music then this CD, Let the Light Shine Down: A Gospel Tribute to Bill Monroe, Rebel Records, 2011, will feel like heaven. It’s a compilation by some of the all time greats of bluegrass music including Ralph Stanley and Del McCoury, along with others.

My personal favorite is “Working on a Building,” performed by Seldom Scene. This rendition begins with
divine instrumental and then the singing starts. It’s very effective and very ethereal. Additional tracks, “When the Saints Go Marching In,” for instance, feel like they end too soon but it readies you for what’s next as you pray for more. And then Ralph Stanley comes along singing “Pilgrim.” Glory be!

“Let the Light Shine Down”

It’s understood that every performance of country or bluegrass music will feature a gospel song, usually at the end of the show but to hear them all together is a treasure. Bill Monroe had a deep and abiding faith that he expressed in his music, as if the music was actually a piece of it.

The sound on this Rebel CD is crisp and clear with a foot stomping rhythm to be experienced in your whole body. The harmonies are haunting and the melodies linger. This recording is truly a blessing.

Rebel Records


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