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POTD: Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys

Written by on June 13, 2024

Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys: A Legacy of Bluegrass Excellence

Ralph Stanley II, often known as “Two,” continued the rich legacy of bluegrass music established by his father, Dr. Ralph Stanley. As the frontman of the Clinch Mountain Boys, Ralph Stanley II has not only preserved the traditional sounds of bluegrass but also infused it with his unique style and energy.

Early Beginnings and Legacy

Ralph Stanley II began his professional career in 1995, working alongside his father. The Clinch Mountain Boys, initially formed by Ralph Stanley and his brother Carter in 1946, became a cornerstone of bluegrass music. After Carter died in 1966, Ralph Stanley continued the band, and it became synonymous with high-quality bluegrass music.

ralph stanley ii

Photo Courtesy of Susie Neel

Taking the Helm

Following Dr. Ralph Stanley’s passing in 2016, Ralph Stanley II took over the reins of the Clinch Mountain Boys. Under his leadership, the band has continued to thrive, releasing several successful albums and maintaining a rigorous touring schedule. Their album “Lord Help Me Find The Way” topped the Billboard charts and showcased their ability to blend traditional bluegrass with contemporary influences.

Musical Style and Influence

Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys are known for their authentic bluegrass sound, soulful vocals, intricate harmonies, and masterful instrumentation. Songs like “Glendale Train” and “Life To Go” highlight their ability to tell compelling stories through music. The band’s performances are a testament to their dedication to preserving the bluegrass tradition while pushing its boundaries.

Recent Achievements

The band’s recent release, “Back to Virginia,” has been well-received by fans and critics alike. It reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Charts, further cementing their status as leading figures in the bluegrass community. Their live performances, such as those at The Station Inn in Nashville, continue to draw enthusiastic crowds and showcase their exceptional talent.


Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys are more than just a band; they are torchbearers of a musical tradition that spans generations. Their dedication to their talents and ability to innovate within the genre ensure that the legacy of bluegrass music remains vibrant and relevant. Whether through their recordings or live performances, Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys continue to captivate audiences and honor the rich heritage of bluegrass music.

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