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CD Review: Bobby Tomberlin – OUT OF ROAD

OUT OF ROAD (Curb Music)
Bobby Tomberlin
My friend Bobby Tomberlin is a member of a
fairly exclusive ‘club’ … a hit songwriter who really can sing on a par with
any of today’s major Country artists. 
He’s been involved in the music business since he was eleven and has
been a staff writer at Curb Records Publishing for 14+ years, writing or
co-writing songs cut by Diamond Rio (“One More Day”), Kenny Rogers, The Oak
Ridge Boys, Lee Greenwood, Josh Turner and many more.
The immaculately produced (by Tomberlin and
PJ West) OUT OF ROAD serves as the ideal showcase, not only of Tomberlin’s
writing chops, but also of his fine voice and spot-on delivery.   The
album features a number of his Nashville buddies, both as co-writers (such as
Dean Dillon, Mo Pitney, Mac Davis) and guest vocalists (Vince Gill, Bill
Anderson, Bobby Bare, Hillary Williams and more).
Bobby obviously has a great respect for
what’s known as ‘classic country’ but avoids wallowing in nostalgia for a
musical past: his songs will appeal to fans of traditional country but, at the
same time, they are firmly rooted in the here and now.
The eleven-song package kicks off with the
(sort of) title track. “I’ve Run Out Of Road,” penned by Tomberlin, Dean Dillon
& Mo Pitney, tells the story of a guy who’ll ‘never get her off my mind /
shoulda never said goodbye.”  He’s been
running but he’s run out of road, a touching mid-tempo that sets the pace for
the rest of the album.
Bobby co-wrote “The Grand Ole Opry” with
J.P. Williams, and relates some of the historical moments in the life of the
Mother Church of Country Music, told in the voice of the Opry itself.  No doubt, it will get a standing ovation from
the audience when performed on the Opry stage. The Opry is such a part of
Bobby’s soul, I am not surprised with this wonderful “Heartfelt” tune, straight
from his heart.
Spoiler alert: if you’re an aspiring
songwriter you might not want to listen to “The Songwriter.”  Ah, go ahead. Listen to it anyway.   It’s the story of a young wannabe who drives
into Nashville with a sack of songs and bumps into an older songwriter in a bar
who tells him: “If I knew then what I know now / I’m sure I’d have never left
home / You think you wanna be a songwriter like me / But you don’t.” It’s a wry
take on a hit writer’s life, written by Tomberlin with Terry Faust and Bobby
Bare, with a lament about all the money going to the IRS and ex-wives.  No doubt a few songwriters in Music City know
all about that.
“Looking for Audrey,” (Tomberlin, Linda
Davis, Bill Whyte) imagines meeting Hank Williams Snr in a bar as the
heartbroken singer tells how he regrets losing the love of his life, his wife
Audrey. The gently wistful ballad is made all the more poignant by the addition
of harmony vocals by Davis and Hilary Williams – Hank’s granddaughter.
Standout tracks in addition to “The
Songwriter” and “Looking For Audrey:” “Wherever She Is,” a witty ‘good
riddance’ ode to an ex, and “A Right Turn,” co-written with Sylvia Hutton, the
final track and the perfect way to bring the album home.
# # #

CD Review by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International

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