True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe

Last updated
True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe
True Life Blues cover.jpg
Compilation album by
ReleasedOctober 15, 1996
Genre Bluegrass music
Label Sugar Hill
Producer Todd Phillips
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [1]

True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe is a compilation album of bluegrass music released through Sugar Hill Records on October 15, 1996. In 1997, the album won Todd Phillips the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, as the producer.


Track listing

  1. "Molly and Tenbrooks" – 3:13
  2. "True Life Blues" – 2:45
  3. "I'm on My Way to the Old Home" – 2:08
  4. "Highway of Sorrow" – 2:53
  5. "Old Ebenezer Scrooge" – 2:46
  6. "Memories of You" – 3:06
  7. "Rawhide" – 3:07
  8. "Can't You Hear Me Callin'" – 4:07
  9. "Letter from My Darling" – 3:32
  10. "Sitting Alone in the Moonlight" – 3:16
  11. "Big Mon" – 3:01
  12. "Get Down on Your Knees and Pray" – 3:12
  13. "Used to Be" – 2:03
  14. "Scotland" – 3:08
  15. "Travelin' This Lonesome Road" – 3:02
  16. "Heavy Traffic Ahead Bill Monroe" – 2:25
  17. "Little Cabin Home on the Hill" – 3:49


Related Research Articles

Bill Monroe American bluegrass musician, songwriter

William Smith Monroe was an American mandolinist, singer, and songwriter, who created the bluegrass music genre. Because of this, he is often called the "Father of Bluegrass".

Earl Scruggs American musician

Earl Eugene Scruggs was an American musician noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo picking style, now called "Scruggs style", which is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. His three-finger style of playing was radically different from the traditional way the five-string banjo had previously been played. This new style of playing became popular and elevated the banjo from its previous role as a background rhythm instrument to featured solo status. He popularized the instrument across several genres of music.

Music of Kentucky Overview of music traditions in the U.S. state of Kentucky

The Music of Kentucky is heavily centered on Appalachian folk music and its descendants, especially in eastern Kentucky. Bluegrass music is of particular regional importance; Bill Monroe, "the father of bluegrass music", was born in the Ohio County community of Rosine, and he named his band, the Blue Grass Boys, after the bluegrass state, i.e., Kentucky. Travis picking, the influential guitar style, is named after Merle Travis, born and raised in Muhlenberg County. Kentucky is home to the Country Music Highway, which extends from Portsmouth, Ohio, to the Virginia border in Pike County.

Hazel Dickens American bluegrass musician, singer, and activist

Hazel Jane Dickens was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. Cultural blogger John Pietaro noted that "Dickens didn’t just sing the anthems of labor, she lived them and her place on many a picket line, staring down gunfire and goon squads, embedded her into the cause." The New York Times extolled her as "a clarion-voiced advocate for coal miners and working people and a pioneer among women in bluegrass music." With Alice Gerrard, Dickens was one of the first women to record a bluegrass album.

Peter Rowan American musician

Peter Rowan is an American bluegrass musician and composer. Rowan plays guitar and mandolin, yodels and sings.

Mule Skinner Blues Song by Jimmie Rodgers

"Mule Skinner Blues" is a classic country song written by Jimmie Rodgers and George Vaughan. The song was first recorded by Rodgers in 1930 and has been recorded by many artists since then, acquiring the de facto title "Mule Skinner Blues" after Rodgers named it "Blue Yodel #8".

Jim Nunally plays bluegrass-style, flat pick guitar with John Reischman and the Jaybirds, and with The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. Jim has received two Grammy award certifications and two IBMA awards for his performance on the 1996 Bluegrass Album of the Year True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe.

<i>Bluegrass Hootenanny</i> 1964 studio album by George Jones, Melba Montgomery

Bluegrass Hootenanny is an album by American country music artists George Jones and Melba Montgomery released in 1964 on the United Artists Records.

Ricky Skaggs American musician, producer, and composer

Rickie Lee Skaggs, known professionally as Ricky Skaggs, is an American neotraditional country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster, and banjo.

<i>Retrograss</i> 1999 studio album by David Grisman, John Hartford, Mike Seeger

Retrograss is a bluegrass album by David Grisman, John Hartford and Mike Seeger. It was released on the Acoustic Disc record label in 1999. Retrograss received a Grammy nomination in the Traditional Folk Album category in 2000.

<i>Doc & Dawg</i> 1997 studio album by Doc Watson, David Grisman

Doc & Dawg is a 1997 recording by the American folk music artist Doc Watson and mandolinist David Grisman.

<i>The Bluegrass Album</i> 1981 studio album by Bluegrass Album Band

The Bluegrass Album is the debut album by bluegrass supergroup, Bluegrass Album Band, released in 1981. It's a collection of bluegrass standards by Lester Flatt, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and others. Ultimately, four volumes were released, recorded between 1980 and 1985.

<i>Bluegrass Album, Vol. 4</i> 1984 studio album by Bluegrass Album Band

Bluegrass Album, Vol. 4 is a fourth album by bluegrass supergroup, Bluegrass Album Band, released in 1984.

<i>Home Is Where the Heart Is</i> (David Grisman album) 1988 studio album by David Grisman

Home Is Where the Heart Is is an album by American musician David Grisman released in 1987. After the 1987 jazz album, Svingin' with Svend, this record contains more traditional bluegrass and includes such stars of the genre as Doc Watson, Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe and others.

<i>On the Road</i> (The Country Gentlemen album) 1963 live album by Country Gentlemen

On the Road is a live album by the bluegrass band Country Gentlemen, recorded in 1963. It continues to offer some of the best collection of songs by the first classic lineup of the group. The album originally contained 13 songs, selection from 2 concerts in 1962 and 1963. In 2001, Smithsonian Folkways re-released the album as a CD with 6 bonus tracks, recorded at Carnegie Hall on September 16, 1961.The album offers blend of folk and bluegrass music, while expanding compositions of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley as well as traditional songs to the more progressive bluegrass sound.

Bluegrass fiddling is a distinctive style of American fiddle playing which is characterized by bold, bluesy improvisation, off-beat "chopping", and sophisticated use of both double-stops and old-time bowing patterns.

Mollie OBrien Musical artist

Mollie O'Brien is an Americana, bluegrass, R&B, and folk singer from Wheeling, West Virginia. She has released a number of Americana albums with her brother, Grammy-winner Tim O'Brien. She has also released five positively received solo albums. She is currently based in Denver, and regularly tours and performs with her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, as a duo. Together they have released one studio album, Saints and Sinners and a live CD, 900 Baseline. She has regularly appeared on shows such as A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and contributed vocals to the Grammy-winning album True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe. She is known for her interpretations of classic songs by artists such as Tom Waits, Memphis Minnie, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, Si Kahn, Terence Trent D'Arby, and Kate MacLeod.

<i>Live at the Boarding House: The Complete Shows</i> 2013 live album by Old & In the Way

Live at the Boarding House: The Complete Shows is a four-CD live album by the bluegrass band Old & In the Way. It was recorded on October 1 and October 8, 1973, at the Boarding House in San Francisco, and contains the complete concerts from those dates. It was released by Acoustic Disc and Acoustic Oasis on October 1, 2013. The album includes 55 tracks, 14 of which were previously unreleased.

Mike Compton is an American bluegrass mandolin player. In addition to his solo albums and recordings with the Nashville Bluegrass Band and John Hartford, he has been featured as a performer and collaborator on numerous albums by other artists.

<i>Before the Dead</i> 2018 live album by Jerry Garcia

Before the Dead is an album by Jerry Garcia. It is a compilation of early recordings of Garcia playing folk and bluegrass music with various other musicians. The recordings were made from 1961 to 1964, before Garcia co-founded the rock band the Grateful Dead. Produced as a four-CD box set, and also as a five-LP limited edition box set, it was released on May 11, 2018.


  1. "True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe". Allmusic . Retrieved July 20, 2010.