Late last night I felt and heard a faint, lonesome sound. It was as if a giant tree had fallen in faraway woods. I wake up this morning to find Ralph Stanley had died.
I find myself, quite oddly, crying as I write this. I met him once. He reminded me of my grandmother, the most purely spiritual person I have ever known. He was small and quiet and yet giant and deep.
The songs he sung could have been his or they could have been 500 years old, but such a distinction was meaningless. His body of work is part of our collective DNA. We are a tiny bit poorer today with him not here to tap into it and remind us of our basic, shared humanity.
Please enjoy a song Ralph Stanley contributed to the Bloodshot catalog. He sang this Stanley Brothers tune with Paul Burch for our 2005 compilation album For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records.