CD Review: Jesse McReynolds – Introduces The Mandolobro – A Musical Innovation



My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You – Midnight
Waltz – Whiskey Run – Deer Chase – Old Spinning Wheel – New Orleans –
Westphalia Waltz – Wheels – Peyote – Moonlighting – Snowman – Softly and

Jesse is not only the best old-school mandolin picker in
bluegrass music, he’s an astonishing musician no matter how you hear
him.  He’s also a very close friend of my wife Sheila and myself.  We’ve
had the opportunity to work with him, and his brother Jim, many times. 
They’ve been at our National Old Time Music Festival several times
(this years dates Aug 27-Sept 2, 2018), as well as at our opera house in
Walnut, Iowa, and our television show “Old Time Country Music” where
they brought the house down, and we got to sing “Better Git Your
Britches On” with them.  Jesse is a good friend of bluegrass music, and
he’s a good friend of music in general. He’s of the old school, and does
the music for the love of music.  He’s an amazing musician, and even
though he’s a tremendous mandolinist, on this album he is a tremendous
Mandolobroist.  This is an instrument tuned the same as a mandolin, but
it has a larger body with a built in resonator.  Wow, does this create a
‘new’ country sound. I really like this ‘new’ sound Jesse is
exhibiting.  He put together some really gifted studio musicians to help
him with this masterpiece.  The music Jesse plays is sort of like
masterpieces in the art world.  This particular CD is a masterpiece. 
Check this out, Jesse plays both the mandolobro and the mandolin; Save
Salyer on guitar (acoustic); Dave Martin on bass; Glen Duncan on fiddle;
Vassar Clements on fiddle; Jimmy Campbell on fiddle; Martin Parker on
drums; Keith Durham on bass and guitar; Mike Drudge on bass and guitar;
Kent Fox on guitar and vocal.  Can you believe the fiddlers that are on
this project?  Wow, I can almost identify a couple of them by their
‘style’ WOW are they hot or what.  Listening to ‘Deer Chase’ is like
listening to a symphonic piece of music.  It’s all there, the ‘class’
the ‘feeling’ the ‘interpretation’ the ‘style’ the ‘historical accuracy’
this is a wonder to behold.  “New Orleans” is much the same, it’s not
exactly bluegrass, but the ingredients are there. It’s not exactly jazz
but the ingredients are there, it’s not even exactly country, it’s
better.  According to Jesse, “After recording more than 50 albums, since
being in Nashville, and being a member of the Grand Ole Opry since
1964, I think I’ve come up with something a little different.”  Oh man,
has he ever.  All those ingredients he has in each and every one of the
12 songs is incredible.  “Wheels” is another incredibly well done song. 
HOW he can make those double-knee-jerk picking sounds is unbelievable. 
I don’t think anyone else can do that.  Jesse included a nice letter
with the CD….”Dear Bob.  I’m sitting here reading your paper about the
old-time music festival you do, and reminiscing about the old days when
we were on the road about 90% of the time, and all of the friends we’ve
made across this country, and around the world. And, I’m so thankful
that we got the chance to visit you all in Iowa, and to get to do the TV
show you produced “Old Time Country Music” and I’m glad we got to do a
song with you on that show.  I hope you get them to do some re-runs. 
I’m sending you a copy of the show we did here in Nashville with Bill
Monroe and Lester Flatt, and James Monroe if it would be of any help. 
They could run this show on a special for the station some time.  I own
all the rights to the show, so there would be no problems there.  I also
want to say thanks for all the work you are doing to keep country music
alive.”  Isn’t that fantastic, one of the best known mandolinists in
the business talking to me like that. All I can say is, if you who are
reading this like ‘real’ country music, you need this CD.  A good place
to start, to get a copy is simply call J&J Music at 615-948-5432.  I
have to be honest, I’ve listened to good musicians all of my life.  I’m
82 now.  There are only a few instrumentalists that really knock my
socks off.  Merle Travis on guitar; Mark O’Connor on fiddle; Brother
Oswald on Dobro; Michael Rhodes on bass; Charlie McCoy on harmonica;
Jimmy Dean on accordion; Buddy Harmon on drums; Ralph Mooney on steel;
and Jesse McReynolds on mandolin…..AND mandolobro.  Thanks ever so
much Jesse for making my day.  I’ll be keeping your CD in my files,
especially when I need a ‘lift’ on a blue day.  We’re hoping Jesse will
be able to participate in this year’s selections of “Lifetime
Achievement” awards from the National Traditional Country Music
Association.  This CD is already up for a CD of the Year award from the
Rural Roots Music Commission.  Guarantee.

WWW.MUSIC-SAVERS.COM – RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres. National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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