Early Influences

  • Bill Monroe
  • Grand Ole Opry
  • Jerry and Sky
  • Tex Logan
  • Lilly Brothers and Don Stover
  • Brother duets: Blue Sky Boys, Delmore Brothers, Louvin Brothers, Webster Brothers

Came to Fame With

  • Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys, 1970-1985

From the Archives

“Joe [Val] and Herb [Applin] had a lovely blend. They were both tenors—and beyond—with a light and lyrical style that had all but disappeared at the time. The Louvin Brothers were gone, the Blue Sky Boys sang only at the rare folk concert, and the Whitstein Brothers hadn’t yet begun their career. Joe and Herb had a wonderful ear for material. They listened to a ton of music and were able to sort out songs they really liked and that fit their voices . . . not necessarily the most popular.”
Jim Rooney, telephone interview with Fred Bartenstein, 2005.
“At most festivals where we play for the first time, the crowds only look at the records until we’ve played on stage. Then they sell like hotcakes.”
Quoted by Nancy and Dick Kimmel in “Joe Val and the New England Bluegrass Boys: One of the Best Kept Secrets in Bluegrass,” Bluegrass Unlimited, May 1983.