Bobby Osborne: Bluegrass Melodies

Bobby Osborne: Bluegrass MelodiesBluegrass legend Bobby Osborne has just released a his new CD, Bluegrass Melodies. Bobby has long been a favorite of mine. The smooth, clear quality of his high lonesome singing serves as a constant example of what bluegrass singing should sound like. Mr. Osborne does not disappoint on this new recording.

The band on the CD is the same band you’ll see at a show, Rocky Top X-Press. The band consists of Daryl Mosely on bass, Dana Cupp on banjo, Bobby Osborne Jr. on guitar, Mat Despain on dobro, and of course Bobby Osborne himself on mandolin. All the band members contribute vocally to the project.

The only thing you’ll hear on the CD that differs from the band is the addition of Glen Duncan’s superb fiddle playing, and a special guest vocalist on the last song (see below).

I asked Bobby what the most enjoyable part of the experience in making this CD was.

The most enjoyabe part of making the cd is having a great band to work with and my long time friend and producer Glen Duncan. His super work with the Fiddle is another one of my favorite things on the cd.

Let’s talk about the songs on this disc. The CD opens with a classic Osborne sound on the song, What Kind of Fool. If this tune sets the stage for the rest of the CD, we’re in for a good listen.

The second song is the title cut and slows the tempo down, but the singing is so incredible you’ll be compelled to listen.

Bobby’s treatment of Lonesome River is outstanding. This song is one of those fast 3/4 time songs that Ron Stuart refers to as “heavy 3/4.” Bobby makes you feel the emotion of the lyrics with the lonesomeness of his voice. And watch out for the last chorus, wow!

I did ask Bobby if he had a favorite song from the CD.

lt would be hard for me to determine my favorite song but l like Lonesome River a lot.

I’d have to agree. This cut is worth the price of admission.

That high lonesome emotion comes through again on the last song, Go Rest High On That Mountain. Rhonda Vincent joins him on this cut, singing harmony on the choruses and taking the lead for the second verse. It’s easy to hear the similarities and realize the influence the Osborne sound has had on Rhonda.

I won’t comment on any other titles specifically since they are all worthy of mention in their own right. What does strike me about this recording in an overall sense is the quality of Bobby’s singing. It is consistent and inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this CD (several times) and remembering the classic Osborne Brothers sound that I like so much. Bobby, at age 75, has still got it. More than that, as this CD demonstrates, he’s still innovating.

The CD was released July 10, 2007 on the Rounder Records label. Audio samples can be heard in the iTunes Music Store.

I’ll leave you with this quote from No Depression magazine, which aptly summarizes the experience of listening to this CD.

…he’s still a more convincing singer than most men half his age.