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CD: DALE ROBIN Sweet & Salty

Sweet & Salty
Old Green Sweater - Boatman - Same Old World - If He's Gone - Waltz Across Texas - Where Did You Get That Hat - A Taste of You - One, I Love - Delta Mama Blues - True Blues - Maple Sweet - True Love Real - Movin ' Day - Workin' Girl Blues
There's nothing I like better than old-time country music.  This CD is one of the best I've heard in awhile.  Dale Robin is a songwriter much like Terry Smith, and her song "Old Green Sweater" has the same story as Terry's "Mama's Quilt."  Pure old-time country through and through, much of it original written by the recording artist Dale Robin.  She not only plays an extremely great sounding Guild guitar, she is also a clawhammer banjo picker as well as a lap dulcimer player.  Yes, perfect old-time country.  Add to this a 'real' country-folk voice with the just-right vibrato in the voice, and you have the epitome of what early country music was all about.  The sincerity, the honesty, the truth, the gift.  Add some incredibly good pickers and you come up with a winning champion of the genre.  Don Barry on bass; Jonathan Danforth on viola, fiddle, whistling, and bones; Jack Radcliffe on piano; John Cote on drums; Don Wessels on chromatic harmonica; Andy Cohen second guitar; Gail Wiegner vocal harmony, at different and various locations in the CD.   My favorite song right off the bat is "Waltz Across Texas" an Ernest Tubb song, that Ernest would most assuredly have liked a lot.  The rest of my listening pleasure likes include Dale's excellent frailing or clawhammer banjo.  It's old-timey, easy to listen to, and fun.  Original songs are just that, except perhaps for "If He's Gone" which is a take on "St. James Infirmary."  The bass work of Don Barry is especially excellent on "A Taste of You" along with some delicately placed whistling.  I also enjoyed "Delta Mama Blues" which failed to mention Jack Radcliffe's piano on the liner notes.  "Maple Sweet" is au capella, and done extremely well, just like it might have been done during the sugar-sap gathering.  Sometimes, at least for me, miracles happen in music, especially with those that have the 'ear' to play it. Even city folks get the 'ear' sometimes, and they become 'real' folks.  Maybe that happened to Dale Robin, but I'm impressed as well with her ability to ease a little blues into her work, even a slight touch of jazz, but none of this takes away from her work, it adds to it.  This is why the project is labeled 'Sweet & Salty.'  This is one of the last CD's I have to review for this incredibly well directed recording company Wepecket Island Records.  I'm impressed, not only with the artists, but with the way the company stays true to it's course. The last song "Workin' Girl Blues" was the clincher, though I didn't need that.  Imagine an Eastern European Jewish girl yodeling her little heart out.  OK, I'm sold, this is 'real' country, Patsy Montana would be proud of this cow-girl! This one goes directly to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their CD of the Year consideration.  Wepecket Records, 573 Rockdale Ave., New Bedford, MA 02740  info@wepecket.com  
Review by Bob Everhart www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International

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