Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The John Herald Band

  • The John Herald Band [Bay, 1978] B
  • The Real Thing [Rooster, 1984] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The John Herald Band [Bay, 1978]
I was about to note bemusedly that Herald's best songs on this album--"Wiggle Worm Wiggle" and "I'm Getting Ready to Go"--could have been written fifty years ago. Indeed they could have, because both are old bluegrass tunes. "Slightly Blind" and "With Every Month" are quite up-to-date. After that, details get hazy. B

The Real Thing [Rooster, 1984]
Fallible though he may be, I'll take this bluegrass-based traditionalist over Ricky Skaggs any day. Maybe his transported singing honors George Jones and Jerry Lee Lewis along with Red Allen and Bill Monroe because his long experience in folkiedom taught him something new about authenticity. Or maybe it's just that he's not above sinning. B+