My Heart Still Sees
My Heart Still Sees - Pictures On The Wall - High Lonesome - Here We Go Again - Another Lonely Night - Livin' Two Loves - Always For You - Sittin' In A Truck Stop Down IN Georgia - Face Without Name - He Wrote The Song On The Jukebox - I Don't Know Where They've Gone - Back Into The Fold
I received a couple of CD's from Roughshod Records, a Virginia based company that still produces and promotes 'real' country music. When I say 'real' country music, what am I talking about? I'm talking about the raw talent in America that has not given in to the samo-samo sound of what country music has become today. I would much rather listen to a singer or an instrumentalist or a recording artist that hasn't reached their epitome in the music world yet, especially if they are staying true to their musical calling. That's exactly the case of the two talents involved in both the CD's I am reviewing today. Mike Johnson the mover and shaker behind the record company, wrote "Roughshod Records SideKicks" to honor the investment of both talents. However Mike Johnson is also a prolific country music singer-songwriter with a huge catalog of songs to his credit. He wrote every song on this James Adelsberger release, except for a couple of co-written songs that Mike did with James. It's a remarkable listening experience because the songs are so original and so unlike country music today. On "High Lonesome" we even hear Mike Johnson doing his amazing yodeling, right in tune with what James Adelsberger is doing with the songs that he does so well with his young voice. James is the master-mind instrumentalist in this entire production. He's one of those young geniuses that can play anything, and play it well. He's also a fine vocalist that carries the song, the meaning and the beauty of it whenever he is interpreting it in his own distinctive style. Listening to him perform on guitar on "Here We Go Again" he takes us right back to a jazzy western swing country style that we just don't hear anymore. It's almost a 'twenties' sound that really stands out. There's only one other musician participating in this studio production, Michael Romans, who adds a very gifted fiddle to the mix. All in all, though it must have taken quite some time to put this production all together, it sure makes for a beautiful listening experience. I just love Jame's 'production' abilities, He uses all his musical talent to pull it together, everything from keyboard and steel guitar to some incredible acoustic guitar picking. A total package of super fine music, and I can truthfully say Mike Johnson's leadership in making all this possible keeps it right in that really fine 'real' country sound, some of it going all the way back a long long way (James even includes some fine banjo backing on "Livin' Two Loves"), and some of it keeping the 70's and 80's sound alive and well. I've heard some of Jame's previous recordings, and I'm glad to say he's getting better with everything he is doing, but he was already incredibly good when he started, so now I'm looking forward to what the future holds. Kudos to Mike Johnson for taking this young talent under his wing and producing such a remarkable listening experience.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President of the National Traditional Country Music Association since 1976 for Country Music News International