The Armstrong Twins – Mandolin Boogie
Stars of radio, records, and TV the Armstrong Twins performed on the Louisiana Hayride, KXLA Pasadena, CA, Cliffie Stone's Dinner Bell Round Up and his legendary TV show "Town Hall Party."
Arhoolie re-issues, for the first time on CD the sound of their Classic Country Brother Duets featuring their first recordings from the late forties - early fifties, and their reunion session for Arhoolie in 1979.
1. Mandolin Boogie - 3:00 2. Three Miles South of Cash - 2:30 3. Mother's Only Sleeping - 2:39 4. Mandolin Rag - 2:38 5. Sparkling Blue Eyes - 2:57 6. Beetle With the Boogie Woogie Beat - 2:16 7. Address from Heaven - 2:31 8. Alabama Baby - 2:28 9. It's Never Too Late - 2:15 10. Arkansas Special - 2:41 11. Eight Thirty Blues - 2:09 12. Silver Haired Daddy of Mine - 3:13 13. Just a Country Boy - 3:18 14. Greenback Dollar - 3:10 15. Old Three Room Shack - 2:38 16. Why Not Confess - 2:19 17. Beautiful Brown Eyes - 2:38
Floyd Armstrong (vocals, guitar) , Lloyd Armstrong (vocals, mandolin) , "Oscar" Billy Hughes (fiddle) , Zane Beck dobro) , Monte Avery (bass)
1. Baltimore Blues Society BluesRag - Dennis Rozanski
“Lloyd was the one blazing like a supernova on mandolin; Floyd, his mirror image, stoked a guitar hard. Other than that, it’s down to fingerprints in order to distinguish the Armstrong Twins, especially since their voices rarely separated by more than a tick at any time. It was their voices, symmetrically interwoven in harmony, which earned them a slot in the vanguard of brotherly country duos, along with the Delmores, Louvins, and Everlys. Beginning in the 1930s, radio waves from Little Rock beamed their clean-cut sound. These records then followed. How listeners must have thrilled to hear two wildmen just a pickin’ and a grinnin’ until one blinked on ‘Mandolin Rag’ and ‘Arkansas Special.’ Or swooned to poetic visions of love in ‘Sparkling Blue Eyes.’ That sentimental innocence was shattered by ‘Alabama Baby,’ an amorous fire-ball that also broke their standard two-man configuration with some Bob Wills-style woozy fiddlin’. And proto-rockabilly could just have well taken the hopped-up energy of ‘Mandolin Boogie’ or ‘Beetle with the Boogie Woogie Beat’ as raw material.
That was all in the late 40s. A valuable reunion in 1979, however, reinstates their hillbilly majesty, with plenty of twang content retained in ‘Greenback Dollar’ and a Dobro-spruced jolt of ‘Eight Thirty Blues.’ Whether hitting the boogie hard or cooing like turtle doves, the carbon-copy Armstrong Twins made music as sweet and pure as Arkansas mountain air.”
2. AllMusic - Al Campbell
Mandolin Boogie combines the Armstrong Twins' first recordings from the late '40s and early '50s with their reunion session recorded specifically for the Arhoolie label in 1979. It's amazing that the brothers' sparkling close harmonies and Lloyd Armstrong's unique and nimble mandolin runs were sustained almost 30 years after they started making records; the only real difference between the sessions is the recording technology that was used. Tinged with a combination of bluegrass and traditional country, these 17 tracks include Floyd Armstrong's original compositions "Mandolin Boogie," "Alabama Baby," and "Arkansas Special," as well as Americana standards such as "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" and "Greenback Dollar" and religious material that includes "Address From Heaven," "Why Not Confess," and "Mother's Only Sleeping." As a side note, the Arhoolie sessions also feature Zane Beck on Dobro and Monte Avery on bass.