Lyman Enloe - Rugged Road (MSOTFA 004)

by Lyman Enloe with the Bluegrass Association



The tracks on this recording were originally issued on LP by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). MSOTFA was pleased to have been granted permission by SPBGMA and the artists concerned to reissue this important recording. Subsequently this album was issued by MSOTFA on a cassette MSOTFA 104. Now we have given the recording another incarnation as a digital download.
Lyman Enloe’s music is a unique blend of traditional and modern influences. Enloe was born in 1906 in Cole County about halfway between Jefferson City and Eldon, Missouri, in a geographic region known as the upper Ozarks. He was surrounded by old-time fiddle music as a boy. Both his father Elijah (called Lige) and his older half-brother Wade played the fiddle. Other local players Lyman remembered included Ben Hine, Lee Carpenter and Lou Hart.
Tony Gilmore of Jefferson City was Lyman’s most important early influence. Gilmore, a railroad man by occupation, was among fiddlers performing regularly over state-owned radio station WOS, which broadcast from the dome of the Capitol from 1923 to 1933. Lyman started out playing back-up guitar for Gilmore, but soon became interested in fiddling himself. Lyman recalled that he already had all the tunes in head – he just needed to learn them on the fiddle. He practiced for over a year before he would play in front of Gilmore.
In 1930 Lyman made his first public appearance over WOS. The announcer, Captain Jack Heiny, called on Lyman to play a tune. Not knowing the title, Heiny announced extemporaneously, “Let’s call it Back in ’89.” The title stuck.
In the 1940s, Lyman Enloe moved to Kansas City where he worked as a painter. At this point he put his music aside for over two decades. In the late 1960s he became acquainted with several local Bluegrass musicians. His notey and driving style of playing fit well with the group and after a number of successful engagements the Bluegrass Association was formed.
The Bluegrass Association consisted of Lyman on fiddle, Chuck Stearman on mandolin, Jim McGreevy on banjo, Don Montgomery on bass and John Bennett on guitar. The group played together for 13 years and cut four albums. Personal commitments caused the Association to disband in 1981. Veterans of the Bluegrass festival circuit still regard them as one of the Bluegrass groups to come out of Missouri.
It is worth noting that Lyman was a great admirer of Bluegrass fiddle innovator Kenny Baker. Lyman played many of this tunes was himself held in high regard by the “master of Bluegrass fiddle.”
Lyman was always been interested in passing on the old fiddle tunes to the next generation. MSOTFA has published a book by Bill Shull entitled “Uncle Pink and Other Central Missouri Fiddle Tunes from Lyman Enloe” which contains transcriptions of 26 of Lyman’s tunes.


released May 9, 2015

Biography: Bill Shull & Charlie Walden
Special Thanks to Chuck Stearman and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America



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Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association Missouri

The Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association works to promote and preserve the traditional fiddle music of Missouri and the surrounding region. Your purchase here supports those activities.

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