American Gothic: Bluegrass Songs of Death and Sorrow

American Gothic: Bluegrass Songs of Death and Sorrow

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Release Date: 2/25/2003

Even as it urges us to look in the other direction, the famous Carter Family song admits, “There’s a dark and a troubled side of life…” Just ask Poor Ellen Smith, Young Charlotte, Barbara Allen or any of the other ill-fated heroines of the tragic and sometimes gory ballads herein. If you sometimes can’t bring yourself to look away, here are the stunning Appalachian murder ballads, transcendent spirituals and maudlin story-songs that explore the shadowy realm of the bluegrass songbook. With the legendary talents of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Mac Wiseman, The Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, Grandpa Jones, Don Reno and more, American Gothic: Bluegrass Songs of Death and Sorrow is a stunning collection–sometimes harrowing, often uplifting, at times surprisingly fun and always extremely moving.



  1. He Will Open the Gate - The Bass Mountain Boys 
  2. O Death - The Heartbreak Valley Boys
  3. I'm a Stranger Here - Mac Wiseman & The Osborne Brothers
  4. With Body & Soul - Bill Monroe
  5. I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling - The Osborne Brothers
  6. Rank Strangers - Carl Story
  7. Little Blossom - Mac Wiseman
  8. Young Charlotte - Grandpa Jones
  9. Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Live) - Lester Flatt & The Nashville Grass
  10. The White Dove - The Osborne Brothers
  11. The Ballad of the Lawson Family - Mac Wiseman
  12. Barbara Allen - Tommy Faile
  13. Grave In the Valley - Jim & Jesse
  14. Bringing Mary Home - Mac Wiseman
  15. The Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake - The Heartbreak Valley Boys
  16. The Wexford Girl - Benny Martin
  17. Family Reunion - Carl Story 
  18. Poor Ellen Smith - Mac Wiseman
  19. Lonesome Day - The Osborne Brothers
  20. Take Me In Chains - The Bass Mountain Boys
  21. Darlin' Corey (Live) - Bluegrass Cardinals
  22. Angel Band - Carl Story
  23. Keep on the Sunny Side – Mac Wiseman & The Osborne Brothers