Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Reno and Smiley, I’m Using My Bible For a Roadmap.

In the days before Southern religious fundamentalism became just another political interest group, it was capable of inspiring some beautiful, pure pieces of art.

The sublime “I'm Using My Bible For a Roadmap” was written by Don Reno, from Spartansburg, South Carolina, an excellent banjo player who performed with Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith on “Mocking Banjoes,” a track which inspired the infamous “Dueling Banjos” used in the film Deliverance. He also played with Bill Monroe as a brief replacement for Earl Scruggs, and then joined Red Smiley in 1949 to form a bluegrass band, the Tennessee Cut-Ups .

Smiley, who hailed from Asheville, North Carolina, was a fine complement to Reno, providing smooth continuous runs on his Martin guitar to balance Reno’s banjo picking, and harmonies for Reno’s tenor.

Recorded in Cincinnati on January 15, 1952, with Gopher Addis on fiddle, Chuck Haney on mandolin, Jay Haney on bass. Released as King 1045 and found here.

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