Nashville is the last leg in a four-part re-evocation of the Osbornes' long history, from the very first time Bobby Osborne appeared on the Grand Ol' Opry (50 years ago in 1964, though he'd been playing in public since, good lord!, '48) up to this very moment. The goal of the quartet of CDs was to chart the changes the Bros. underwent from then to now, and Nashville roundly illustrates how they've contributed to modernizing the genre while remaining faithful to staples and spirit. Bobby's especially riveting in the liberties he takes on mandolin, and you need no more than the very first cut to understand that.
Gonna be Raining When I Die, though short (2:53) (bluegrass rarely indulges in marathons), carries any number of departures from norms, Osborne bending that tightly strung instrument to a Roger Millery resonance, humorous, grinning, and spunky—simple and to the point yet dynamic as hell for audacity and perfect appositeness, sparking up right beneath Bobby's famed alto singing. Brothers Sonny and Robby are right there beside him and the ensemble has, over the years, enjoyed an outrageous stable of highly conspicuous members. This time out, such lions as Vassar Clements, Hargus Robbins, Leon Rhodes and others join in.
The CD is rather short, +/- 22 minutes, but every second is purest quality and delight. I jumped over to YouTube to catch a couple of videos of the Brothers in concert, and it didn't surprise me a bit to note that the halls were tightly packed with attendees highly enthusiastic and hanging on every note. When I turned back to Nashville, My Baby's Gone cranked in, and I found myself surprised by how Everly Brothers-ish it sounded…or perhaps the Everlies were Osbornesque in their repertoire. Regardless, the modern infusions were evident, and yet I could still picture a housewife at work with chores in the Tenessee backwoods and singing the ditty while hubby was hauling goods to market in a semi.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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