Butch Robins worked as the banjo player with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys for four years, beginning in 1977. The Fifth Child is his interpretive tribute to Monroe’s music. As Bill himself said about the banjo as an instrument, “It’s done wonderful for Bluegrass. It’s got its place.”
1. I’ll Be On That Good Road Someday
2. Cumberland Gap (Trad., arr. by Joseph Robins/Happy Valley Music BMI)
3. Jerusalem Ridge (Bill Monroe/Bill Monroe Music BMI)
4. My Father’s Footsteps (Joseph Robins/Happy Valley Music BMI)
5. Kansas City Railroad Blues
6. Dear Old Dixie (Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs/APRS BMI)
7. Crossin’ the Cumberlands
8. Cripple Creek (Trad., arr. by Joseph Robins/Happy Valley Music BMI)
9. Mississippi Waltz (Bill Monroe/Bill Monroe Music BMI)
10. Blue Grass Breakdown (Bill Monroe/Bill Monroe Music & Unichappell Music BMI)
11. Blue Ridge Cabin Home (Louise Certain & Gladys Stacey/Golden West Melodies Inc. BMI)
Alan O’Bryant – guitar and vocals
Blaine Sprouse – fiddle
Randy Davis – bass
Sam Bush – mandolin
Terry Smith – bass on “Kansas City Railroad Blues” and “Bluegrass Breakdown”
Bobby Osborne – tenor vocal
Butch Robins – banjo
“A banjo is a wonderful instrument today to fit in a group. A banjo’s good to pick and fill in and a lot of people loves and thinks it’s the best music in the world.
“You say the banjo was the fifth instrument in bluegrass, what were the first few?”
“Well it was bound to be the mandolin, the first one, then the guitar and then we added a fiddle and a bass. A banjo was about The Fifth Child that was born in Bluegrass, but it’s helped Bluegrass. It’s done wonderful for Bluegrass. It’s got its place.”
(excerpt from an early 1960s interview with Bill Monroe conducted by Ralph Rinzler)
“Late in the evening about sundown…”
From high atop Uncle Pen’s cabin, Alan O’Bryant, Blaine Sprouse, and I watched this sunset, heard a fiddle singing in the wind, and later picked the night away by the light of a full moon. We three form the nucleus of The Bluegrass Band. A great amount of each of our musical careers has been devoted to the study of Bill Monroe and the music he has shared with the world for over half a century.
This album contains some examples of my interpretation of Bluegrass music, the music of Bill Monroe.
This music I will dedicate to my father, the best friend I have ever known.