- Released: February 20, 2007
- Label: Pinecastle
- 1.Gotta Travel On
- 2.I'm Walking the Dog
- 3.That's How the Cookie Crumbles
- 4.Let's All Go Down to the River
- 5.North to Alaska
- 6.Dark Hollow
- 7.Long Black Veil
- 8.My Little Georgia Rose
- 9.On and On
- 10.Sittin' on Top of the World
- 11.Seven Year Blues
- 12.There's a Higher Power
- 13.Sugar Coated Love
- 14.Let Me Rest at the End of My Journey
- 15.I've Always Been a Rambler
Personnel: Jack Cooke (vocals, guitar); Jim Lauderdale (baritone, bass voice); Ralph Stanley II (baritone); Del McCoury, James Alan Shelton (guitar); Rob McCoury, Steve Sparkman (banjo); David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury (mandolin); Billy Sage, Todd Meade (fiddle).
Audio Mixer: Alan Maggard.
Recording information: Ark Recording Studio, Cincinnati, OH (10/1963); Jeff Sterling Studio, Pengrove, CA (10/1963); Maggard Sound Studio, Big Stone Gap, VA (10/1963); Moondog Studio, Nashville, TN (10/1963).
Photographer: Jim McGuire .
A singer doesn't really need a long r‚sum‚ if he's performed in Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys for 37 years. Standing this close to bluegrass royalty (an oxymoron if there ever was one) says all that needs to be said: Jack Cooke is the real deal. Like Stanley, Cooke loves the old-time, traditional sound, filled with lots of rough edges that create something one might refer to as mountain soul. Cooke's rough-hewn vocals, backed by an impressive who's who of bluegrass notables, take the listener back to the '40s and '50s when the genre was dominated by traditional singers like Jim & Jesse and Flatt & Scruggs. Much of the material likewise offers a glance toward yesterday, with well-loved songs like "North to Alaska," "Dark Hollow," and "Long Black Veil." Cooke picks at least one song that, lyrically, may produce unintended chuckles. It's difficult for anyone, no matter how much hurt he puts into his vocal, to make a line like "that's how the cookie crumbles" (from Jim Lauderdale's song of the same name) seem tenderhearted. There are also two bonus tracks from 1963, which help push the disc to an acceptable album length (around 38 minutes). For folks sick to death of smooth-toned bluegrass crooners, Cooke serves as a staunch defender of non-pretentious, down-to-earth bluegrass. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.