Classic Clips: Muleskinner “Dark Hollow” 1973

The band Muleskinner first played on a television celebration of the music of Bill Monroe on 13th February 1973. Ex-Bluegrass Boy Richard Greene was asked to put together a band to appear on the show with Bill Monroe. Greene put together a bluegrass supergroup with fellow ex-Bluegrass Boy Peter Rowan, ex-Byrd Colonel Clarence White who was reconvening the Kentucky Colonels with his brother Roland before his untimely death in a hit and run accident on 15th July 1973, ex-Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band banjoist Bill Keith, ace session mandolinist and ex-member of Seatrain with Richard Greene, David Grisman, and session bassist Stuart Schulman. The televised concert was a success, even though Bill Monroe was a no-show due to his bus breaking down, and Muleskinner was given a contract by Warner Bros. Records.

Their eponymous debut and only studio album is seen as a key album in the development of progressive bluegrass, and the first bluegrass album to feature drums played by ace session player John Guerin. Muleskinner shared Rowan and Grisman with Jerry Garcia’s equally influential bluegrass band Old & In The Way who toured later in 1973. To cement the link, Garcia and Old & In The Way bassist John Kahn played bass on Muleskinner’s debut studio album. ‘Dark Hollow’ was first recorded by Bill Browning in 1958, but received a major popularity boost when the Grateful Dead started playing it in 1970, with their live version being included on 1973’s ‘History Of The Grateful Dead Volume One (Bear’s Choice). The Classic Clip is from that very television show in 1973.


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About Martin Johnson 274 Articles
I've been a music obsessive for more years than I care to admit to. Part of my enjoyment from music comes from discovering new sounds and artists while continuing to explore the roots of American 20th century music that has impacted the whole of world culture.

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