Lester Flatt Can’t Tell the Boys from the Girls

“I Can’t Tell the Boys From the Girls” – the A-side of Lester Flatt’s debut single for RCA, released January, 1971 – was the kick-off tune to his first RCA long-playing album release, Flatt on Victor.  Song was written by Lester Flatt, with help from Bob Leftridge.

Lester Flatt:  vocal & guitar
Josh Graves:  dobro & vocals
Vic Jordan:  banjo
Roland White:  mandolin
Paul Warren:  fiddle/vocals
Jake Tullock:  bass/vocals
Jerry Carrigan: drums
Hargus Pig Robbins:  piano

Flatt on Victor was recorded November/December,1970 at RCA Victor Studio in Nashville.

Lester Flatt LP

“Kentucky Ridgerunner”: The High Lonesome Remix

I was half distracted driving through southwestern Ohio when I first heard the title track of Lester Flatt’s Kentucky Ridgerunner album on a community radio station.  The song definitely caught my ear, however, so I made a point of acquiring this album from 1972 – the first of three that year from Lester Flatt.  But when I finally sat down to listen to the record, I was flabbergasted to discover that all the deep-in-the-valley reverb I heard ringing out each time Lester and the boys sang the phrase “Kentucky ridgerunner” … was all in my head!

Lester Flatt - KY Ridgerunner LP

So I immediately whipped out my Yamaha REX 50 multi-effects unit, cranked up the reverb, and made a new mix that tried to capture the late-night lonely train cry I originally heard upon my first encounter with the song:

Kentucky Ridgerunner (High Lonesome Remix) – Lester Flatt

[Pssst:  Click on the triangle above to play ”Kentucky Ridgerunner” by Lester Flatt.]

Not long after making this mix, the REX 50, sadly, bit the dust.  Thus, this recording – another Zero to 180 exclusive – remains the final chapter in the legacy of this vintage 1980s reverb unit and all the warm feeling that the early digital era had to offer.

Yamaha Rex 50 Multi-Effects Unit

Frustratingly, the special effect is a little hard to discern — until, that is, you reach the final chord, at which point the song seems to ring out infinitely.