CD: BOBBY ATKINS & THE COUNTRYMEN – This “IS” Bluegrass

BOBBY ATKINS & THE COUNTRYMEN

This “IS” Bluegrass
Sourwood Mountain – Shackles & Chains –
Going Back To Old Kentucky – It’s A Sin – Jumbaliah – When I Stop
Dreamin’ – One Has My Name – Let Your Brown Eyes Smile At Me – I’m So
Sorry – Durham’s Bull – Mockingbird Hill – Jesus Answers My Prayers –
Ballad of Henry Lowery – Rhythm Of The Falling Rain – Lonesome 77203
 
I’ve known, and listened to, Bobby Atkins for a lot of
years.  This old Kentucky boy is one of the few authentic traditional
bluegrassers left in the eastern part of America. He played banjo for
Bill Monroe in the 60’s, and has been a totally dedicated authentic
bluegrass recording artist and performer ever since, dedicating his
entire music life to the music Monroe handed down to all the musicians
that worked for him.  This album is a sincere presentation of that same
music, just as Monroe played and taught it.  The best part is the
amazing dedication and ability Bobby Atkins has in keeping it ‘right.’  I
believe some of his own family are participating musicians in this
project, but he doesn’t say that.  Just the same, this really ‘is’
bluegrass as it sounded in the past, and as it should today, and in most
cases, that is the case.  The big difference is that Bobby Atkins is
able to keep the sound fresh, interesting, stylized, and certainly
dedicated.  His ability to play the banjo in the traditional bluegrass
style also prompted him to work with none other than Flatt &
Scruggs.  That’s saying quite a lot about a musicians ability.  The
selections of songs on this album also reflect that.  Bobby is so real,
his spelling isn’t always correct, I loved the way he spelled
“Jambaliah” but that makes no difference to the sound, it’s there, it’s
real, and it ‘is’ bluegrass.  It’s also an instrumental, so maybe that
accounts for the difference in spelling.  I like his “Let Your Brown
Eyes Smile At Me” done in this style of traditional music.  It just
seems so much more ‘real’ to me.  Not sure who the mandolin and fiddle
is on this number, but they are both super good.  It’s Bobby’s voice and
banjo that stands out, just like it should.  Music is a remarkable
‘art’ and I have found in my lifetime, even though this plaintive very
real music has been sneered at, joked about, discriminated against (oh
don’t get me started there with what ASCAP did to this music in it’s
birthing years), jeered at, rejected, and pitied, it’s still AMERICA’S
music, and nothing can change that.  I’m like Bobby Atkins.  Just as
soon as I get a good track of a good song down, I keep it.  Just like
that.  Can’t be changed.  Thank you Bobby Atkins for being Bobby Atkins,
there will never be another like you, especially in bluegrass music. 
I’m going to send this along to the Rural Roots Music Commission for
their listening, and as in the past I’m pretty sure they will pick your
CD for awards, but just in the past you probably can’t make it to the
ceremonies, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.
MUSIC REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART – www.ntcma.net 
for Country Music News International Magazine

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