In the early '90s, four of the key artists on the since-defunct Ohio label Okra Records came together and made an album under the Okra All-Stars moniker. The collaboration featured Dave Schramm (The Schramms, Yo La Tengo), Jeb Loy Nichols (Fellow Travellers), Ricky Barnes (Hoot Owls), and Hank McCoy (Dead Ringers), as well as mandolin player Jeff Vogelgesang and fiddle player Sandy Jones. The self-titled effort, which didn't see widespread release until 1999 on the San Francisco-based Innerstate Records, was similar in intent and philosophy to the Byrds' celebrated country music album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo; that is, a bunch of hip, relatively young, non-country artists reveling in traditional country and roots music. The All-Stars covered such influential folks as the Louvin Brothers, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens (with "I Wouldn't Live in New York City") for the effort. The collaboration was certainly informal, however, as evidenced by the sense of fun throughout the self-titled album and the rollicking finale: a bluegrass version of Prince's "Purple Rain." ~ Erik Hage, Rovi