Stringbean "There'll Be Moonshine in Them Old Kentucky Hills"

I'm hereby declaring this here Stringbean classic bluegrass recording the official theme song of  It's so right on so many levels.  For starters, I am the scion of bootleggers.  Both of my grandfathers - Helmuth Fields and Brown Barger - were known to run bootleg liquor in Kentucky during the Prohibition.  As you might imagine, I'm particularly proud of that heritage.

This is a beautiful song, with ol' "Stringbean" Dave Akeman laying down what apparently would have been recognized as an "old timey" banjo style even 50+ years ago during his 1943-1945 stint as a member of Bill Monroe's band.

He's been somewhat lost in the sands of time and details are sketchy, but this recording appears to have originally been recorded for his 1963 album Salute to Uncle Dave Macon.  I'm still not sure of the authorship, though Dave Macon would be the obvious guess.  But it could just as easily be a folk song of unknown origin.

The tone of the song is essentially highly sentimental, with rapturous visions of stills in them "beautiful hills."  There's even an affectionate tone to the little political note in the lyrics.  "Since my man has been elected, moonshine's sure to be protected."  

But then, there's a perfectly cheerful tone even to what might theoretically be considered a fairly harsh sentiment in the introduction.  He begins with a 40ish second story with revenuers offering his little brother a dollar to lead him back to his Pa's still.  Brother demands his dollar up front though, "cause if you go down there, you ain't coming back."  Can't say that they weren't warned.

The whole feeling and coloration of this gets right at some of the values of my heritage.  Stringbean was not a violent fellow at all, nor is there anything hostile or belligerent in the least.  The tone is sentimental and nostalgic, friendly and welcoming.  But if you come back screwing with them, they'll have to put you down.  Nothing hateful in it, but they won't be walked on.

Anyway, this is just a beautiful and spirited jam that you need to hear.  Best I can tell though, there are absolutely no Stringbean albums in print at all.  That's alright though, cause I'm happy to provide a bit of bandwidth as a public service to propagate this classic.  Enjoy.





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