A heavenly blend of country and bluegrass, Heartland is a prime example of the revivalist spirit currently sparking roots music into a new era. In that reform and revivification, Tommy Webb is obviously going to be a prime exponent. He chose some great material and then penned or co-wrote five originals, including the very cool If It Weren't for Bluegrass Music (I'd Go Crazy), which threatens very strongly to become a standard early in the game.
His crack outfit is sharper than a Bowie knife, each gent a master of his instrument and as tasty as a Georgia peach in late summer. Among the entourage is producer Ron Stewart, who plays all manner of strings and then adds bass vocals on River of Jordan. It's difficult to cite one player above another (Webb, besides lead vocals, handles the guitar and clawhammer banjo) as they're all aces integrated like a well-oiled machine emitting righteous high mountain sweet refrains.
Heartland carries the expected brokenhearted tearjerkers, (c'mon, ya know you love a good ol' she/he-done-me-wrong tune!), Jesus songs, redwing-in-flight vocal harmonies, bristlingly fierce instrumental backgrounds, and twangy country gee-tars and Texas brogue vocals alongside Appalachian reels and jigs. The Rural Rhythm label has scored a big winner in Tommy Webb, his music drips with morning dew, mid-day git-up 'n gallop, and sunset regrets, and you'll find yourself returning to the CD time and again.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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