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CD Review: Jesse McReynolds - Introduces The Mandolobro - A Musical Innovation

JESSE McREYNOLDS

INTRODUCES THE MANDOLOBRO - A MUSICAL INNOVATION
My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You - Midnight Waltz - Whiskey Run - Deer Chase - Old Spinning Wheel - New Orleans - Westphalia Waltz - Wheels - Peyote - Moonlighting - Snowman - Softly and Tenderly
Jesse is not only the best old-school mandolin picker in bluegrass music, he's an astonishing musician no matter how you hear him.  He's also a very close friend of my wife Sheila and myself.  We've had the opportunity to work with him, and his brother Jim, many times.  They've been at our National Old Time Music Festival several times (this years dates Aug 27-Sept 2, 2018), as well as at our opera house in Walnut, Iowa, and our television show "Old Time Country Music" where they brought the house down, and we got to sing "Better Git Your Britches On" with them.  Jesse is a good friend of bluegrass music, and he's a good friend of music in general. He's of the old school, and does the music for the love of music.  He's an amazing musician, and even though he's a tremendous mandolinist, on this album he is a tremendous Mandolobroist.  This is an instrument tuned the same as a mandolin, but it has a larger body with a built in resonator.  Wow, does this create a 'new' country sound. I really like this 'new' sound Jesse is exhibiting.  He put together some really gifted studio musicians to help him with this masterpiece.  The music Jesse plays is sort of like masterpieces in the art world.  This particular CD is a masterpiece.  Check this out, Jesse plays both the mandolobro and the mandolin; Save Salyer on guitar (acoustic); Dave Martin on bass; Glen Duncan on fiddle; Vassar Clements on fiddle; Jimmy Campbell on fiddle; Martin Parker on drums; Keith Durham on bass and guitar; Mike Drudge on bass and guitar; Kent Fox on guitar and vocal.  Can you believe the fiddlers that are on this project?  Wow, I can almost identify a couple of them by their 'style' WOW are they hot or what.  Listening to 'Deer Chase' is like listening to a symphonic piece of music.  It's all there, the 'class' the 'feeling' the 'interpretation' the 'style' the 'historical accuracy' this is a wonder to behold.  "New Orleans" is much the same, it's not exactly bluegrass, but the ingredients are there. It's not exactly jazz but the ingredients are there, it's not even exactly country, it's better.  According to Jesse, "After recording more than 50 albums, since being in Nashville, and being a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1964, I think I've come up with something a little different."  Oh man, has he ever.  All those ingredients he has in each and every one of the 12 songs is incredible.  "Wheels" is another incredibly well done song.  HOW he can make those double-knee-jerk picking sounds is unbelievable.  I don't think anyone else can do that.  Jesse included a nice letter with the CD...."Dear Bob.  I'm sitting here reading your paper about the old-time music festival you do, and reminiscing about the old days when we were on the road about 90% of the time, and all of the friends we've made across this country, and around the world. And, I'm so thankful that we got the chance to visit you all in Iowa, and to get to do the TV show you produced "Old Time Country Music" and I'm glad we got to do a song with you on that show.  I hope you get them to do some re-runs.  I'm sending you a copy of the show we did here in Nashville with Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt, and James Monroe if it would be of any help.  They could run this show on a special for the station some time.  I own all the rights to the show, so there would be no problems there.  I also want to say thanks for all the work you are doing to keep country music alive."  Isn't that fantastic, one of the best known mandolinists in the business talking to me like that. All I can say is, if you who are reading this like 'real' country music, you need this CD.  A good place to start, to get a copy is simply call J&J Music at 615-948-5432.  I have to be honest, I've listened to good musicians all of my life.  I'm 82 now.  There are only a few instrumentalists that really knock my socks off.  Merle Travis on guitar; Mark O'Connor on fiddle; Brother Oswald on Dobro; Michael Rhodes on bass; Charlie McCoy on harmonica; Jimmy Dean on accordion; Buddy Harmon on drums; Ralph Mooney on steel; and Jesse McReynolds on mandolin.....AND mandolobro.  Thanks ever so much Jesse for making my day.  I'll be keeping your CD in my files, especially when I need a 'lift' on a blue day.  We're hoping Jesse will be able to participate in this year's selections of "Lifetime Achievement" awards from the National Traditional Country Music Association.  This CD is already up for a CD of the Year award from the Rural Roots Music Commission.  Guarantee.
WWW.MUSIC-SAVERS.COM - RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres. National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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