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CD Review: Ted Jones & The Tarheel Boys - Keeping The Tradition - by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Keeping The Tradition
Mule Skinner Blues - Another Day Another Dollar - Hills Of Roan County - Pray Pray Pray - Thirty Years of Farming - Daybreak In Dixie - Because He Lives - Those Two Blue Eyes - Little Bessie - Don't Give Your Heart To A Stranger - Poor Ellen Smith

Sometimes it just plain 'startles' me at how good some of the Bluegrass bands from our Eastern USA hotbed of bluegrass music really is.  This incredible 'traditional' group is from Eastern North Carolina. The Tarheel Boys are definitely the real deal.  This goes back to the very beginning of early mountain music.  I can already hear in my mind how I would introduce this band at a concert...."Ladies and Gentlemen get ready to hear the music of rural America at it's very best.  Get ready to hear instrumental playing of such a superb nature it will astonish even the most hardened soul.  Get ready to hear a tenor voice so naturally suited to the music he is singing, they are one and the same, the voice, the music, and certainly the end result of natural and astonishing talent.  Ted Jones is one of those 'natural' singers that takes this kind of music to amazingly high new standards."  I feel so sorry for young people today who have signed on to a mechanical robotic electronic music as their 'pick' to listen to when the 'real deal' is still available in America, and this CD is one of those amazing examples of WHY new listeners need to give it a chance.  This group already has a large following, rightfully so.  They also have blended their instruments to an exact fit to what they are accomplishing.  Ted Jones even gives another fine voice on the lead of "Thirty Years of Farming" a song that almost 'fits to a tee' my own very existence trying to live a musical life growing up on a sharecropper farm in the sandhills of Nebraska.  My dad, like many of these North Carolina dads had to 'live with it' and they did that the best that they could.  What it also brought with that experience was this amazing 'truthful' music that reveals what those early folks liked in music, and they liked groups like the Tarheel Boys best of all.  There isn't any if's or so's about that.  This is the epitome of what North Carolina music has got to be about.  Ted Jones makes no doubt about it, he's not afraid to sing about our Lord Jesus Christ.  How many of those young people listening to 'their' music will ever hear that name "Jesus Christ" in their 'new' music?  This CD is very traditional, it's just exactly what these terrific musicians want to portray.  There's only a little time left for me to get this off to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their CD of the Year awards, but off it goes in the morning mail.  Good luck to these amazing musicians, I certainly hope if they get the nod, they can find their way to Iowa to accept.  Thanks so much for sending along this amazing CD, one of the best I've reviewed this year for sure.  The CD liner is signed "The High Sheriff of Bluegrass' Ted Jones.  Surely this must be true. It's a natural 'star.'
www.music-savers.com  RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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