Fast As I Can Crawl - Rainbow Cafe' - The Virginia Creeper - Axe To Grind - Smoky Mountain Mornin' Song - I Still Miss Someone - The Roadkill Bill - Redneck Renovations - Nocturnal Creatures - Naked On The Back Porch - When we're Gone Long Gone - The Roadkill Bill (with comments from the legislature)
I recognized Don King's voice the instant I heard it on song two of this CD.... "Rainbow Cafe'." and then again on one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs "I Still Miss Someone." I know that Don recorded this song earlier, in another style, that was a pretty fair hit for him. This CD is an amazing adventure for me. I know Don King. He was born in Fremont, Nebraska, and grew up in Waterloo, Nebraska, I think. He and I were on the same County Fair there with Marty Robbins. Is that neat or what? He went on to record for Con Brio Records with a number of hits, and from there went on to Epic Records. I went on to record for Folkways Records (eventually Smithsonian-Folkways) and had no hits. Whatever the case, it sure is good to hear this old friend again, doing so well. This CD got to me in the strangest way. We had Tamra Rosanes at the LeMars old-time country music gathering this year (always the full week before Labor Day, next year is the 40th one). She's well known as the "Queen of Country Music" in Denmark, and has an astonishing track record. She not only got nominated for the Hall of Fame, her recording "Rockabilly Heart" took the Rural Roots Music Commission's "Rockabilly CD of the Year" award. Her brother, Brant Miller came up from Nashville to play a little harmonica and mandolin behind her. What a remarkable performance it turned out to be on the main stage. We had a lot of positive from that. Brant in turn gave me this latest recording he made with my old friend Don King and Dave Woodward. It's pretty close to bluegrass, but not quite. The harmonica gives it some really good 'old-time' country sounds, and the super harmony in the voices also brings it back to super good early country sounds, and the comedy also keeps it from falling completely into the bluegrass category, so you already know this CD is definitely going to the Rural Roots Music Commission for traditional country consideration. The musicianship is enthralling throughout this well produced session, and the mix is stunning. This CD....WOW this is the kind of music I grew up with, loved in all it's intensity, still love, still promote, and still perform myself with my little Sheila. What a beautiful Sunday afternoon this has been for me, listening to music definitely from the heart, definitely written with poise and talent, definitely recorded not so much for stardom, but for sharing. OK, five stars.
Bob Everhart www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine