CD Review: KEN MELHUS – Last Of The Summer Wine

KEN MELHUS

Last Of The Summer Wine
What a Wonderful World – Wayfaring Stranger –
Dream A Little Dream – Anytime – Blue Spanish Eyes – Ridin’ Down The
Canyon – Cool Water – Four Walls – It Is Well With My Soul – Gentle On
My Mind – Blue Skies – White Christmas – Blue Side Of Lonesome – Amazing
Grace – The Wind And The Stick Horse
 
Ken Melhus has a very beautiful voice.  That
was very obvious by the time I got to the second song on this
remarkable CD (Wayfaring Stranger).  Recorded at Rick Andersen’s R&H
Studios farmhouse studio near Underwood, Iowa, I’m always impressed
with how Rick uses his musical abilities to enhance each and every
artist that comes to him for his help.  It’s also Rick’s ‘ear’ that
helps him get through the session with an advance knowledge of what
needs to be done.  Starting from scratch, this project of Ken’s is a
remarkable all-encompassing love token to his family, grandkids, and
friends thoughtfully preserving the three periods of his musical life
beginning with his 6th grade music class where he found the joy of music
and singing.  His second period of music occurred right out of high
school when he played trumpet for the Frankie Barr Orchestra.  The
third, and final period, happened at the Old Acorn Feed Store in Council
Bluffs, Iowa, which became a very popular ‘meeting place’ to hear
old-time country, western, and bluegrass music. It’s Ken’s melodious
voice that carries through on each and every one of these lovely songs,
of all genre.  His dad was a guitarist and liked to play and sing cowboy
songs.  Ken carries that tradition on very well with two great
‘western’ songs, “Ridin’ Down The Canyon’ and ‘Cool Water’ both of them
well done.  All of these songs are extremely well done even though there
are many different genres to pick from.  Rick Anderson did a terrific
job bringing it all together, including playing himself on guitar and
harmonica.  I especially like Rick’s harmonica on Eddy Arnold’s great
song “Anytime.”  I’m sure it’s Harriette’s bass that we hear throughout
the session, and mixed very nicely.  I’ve listened to Ken Melhus
recordings before, and they have always been very well done, and very
very entertaining.  In this project, as he reminisces about the fact
that he will be 75 years old in 2017, he feels there is more time behind
him than ahead of him, and he does a remarkable job keeping the
‘keepsake of his music’ alive and well for his family. He even added a
self-composed song “The Wind And The Stick Horse” a really nice ‘story’
to close the session with. Interesting session,and lots of fun to listen
to.  Looking forward to period number four.

RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Association

www.music-savers.com for Country Music News International

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