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CD: ROGER TIBBS - The Way It Used To Be

The Way It Used To Be
Stop The World and Le Me Off - My Shoes Keep Waling Back to You - Irma Jackson - Crying Time - Mansion Over the Hilltop - Betcha My Heart - Send A Message To My Heart - Daddy Frank - City Lights - Mother - Gold Watch and Chain - Heartaches by the Number - This Little Light of Mine - The Way It Used To Be
     I'm very glad that Roger Tibbs, one of my most favorite singers from New Zealand, cut this record in Texas using the studios of Tex Schutz.  Roger has an extremely good voice, extremely sincere, extremely honest, and he needed some 'real' country backing for this album, and he got it.  The selection of songs for a New Zealander to sing is also very interesting to me.  He picked some of the best writers in the business that cemented their reputation with great songwriting.  Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens, Bill Anderson, Hank
Snow, Harlan Howard, and even A. P. Carter.  How could you go wrong with those kind of songs.  The next best the producer Tex Schutz did on this session was put a remarkably good fiddle (Mark Kalson) on most of the songs.  The rhythm guitar is acoustic (sometimes a little bassy and boomy on my player which doesn't have large speakers), and that makes a tremendous difference when you are trying to capture the 'realness' of old-time country.  We're kind of in the traditional vein now, and you hear it throughout this remarkable production.  Tex also adds some appropriate Dobro and mandolin, making this very unlike a bluegrass CD, but still utilizing the same songs that bluegrass players and fans alike adore.  Best acoustic lead picking I believe is on "Daddy Frank" another Merle Haggard song.  Roger Tibbs magnificent voice holds true to the course on the entire project.  He sings with a kind of honesty that is hard to find in today's top-40 country music world.  If good yodeling is what you like, Roger Tibbs is probably the best one on this planet these days.  "The Way It Used To Be" has some exceptional yodeling on it.  Roger makes his home in New Zealand, however he has been in Australia for some time being close to one of his children who is sick there.  We would certainly welcome him back at any time, especially to be with us as we celebrate our 40th year doing our festival in LeMars, Iowa.  This CD is now eligible for Rural Roots Music Commission consideration, so lets see what happens.
Review by Bob Everhart www.ntcma.net  for Country Music News International

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