Monday, November 30, 2015

CD Review - Tammy Jones Robinette & The Drive

Ed. Note:   We have two reviews of Tammy's latest album to present.  First from Marty Warburton and then from Mark Raborn.

Image635843925827430293The first cut of this CD would certainly be worthy of Country radio air-play, that is if Country radio played true Country music. We'll address that concept another time. Right now I want to bring you up to speed on Tammy Jones Robinette and how the Southern Gospel mainstay has rolled up her sleeves and decided to take a stab at Bluegrass Music for a change. Stabbed through the heart I'd say. Tammy tackles a variety of tempos and timings in this recording. The themes found in Southern Gospel naturally rise to the top. Having written one fourth of the songs found here, you will quickly find that Tammy has this music running through her blood. The evidence is found in her rich well metered alto voice. She's done this before.

Be prepared. Listening to this music will take you a few different places: your past, churches, graveyards and beyond.

I was delighted by the treatment given to ”Mama's in the Sweet By & By” it takes you back, then, brings you back as does the reprise on the last cut “Oh I want to See Him”. The CD is full of sweet nuances and messages like this. You might want to have a Kleenex handy.

Partly responsible for the great vibe this record brings is the roster of talent found in it's grooves. Read carefully: Sam Bush-Mandolin, Rob Ickes-Dobro, Aubrey Hayney-Fiddle, Seth Taylor-Guitar, Ron Block-Banjo, Mark Fain-Bass and Scott Vestal- Banjo.

Helping out with background and harmony vocals are Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, Jennifer Wrinkle, Derrick Casteel, Jamie Daily and Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune. Are you kidding me?

The only fly in the ointment for me is knowing, or at least guessing, that the chances of hearing this same gathering of artists all in one place at one time on the same stage at the same time are pretty slim. Hopefully the Djs that are smart enough and brave enough to program bluegrass and gospel music will give it the exposure it deserves. In the meantime, get a copy of this fine offering for yourself.

Find Tammy's music at Well done Tammy.


Image635843934289537335Reviewed for Prescription Bluegrass by Marty Warburton /

© 2015


Review of Tammy Jones Robinette & The Drive

By Mark Raborn

Tammy Jones Robinette’s self-titled CD offers up twelve cuts, four of those penned by Ms. Robinette. Her material is Southern Gospel, with a cut or two that might be considered ‘Country,’ with classic Bluegrass instrumentation. She is supported by a cast of some of the Pre-eminent acoustic musicians of this era, including mandolinist, Sam Bush, fiddler, Aubrey Hayney, Rob Ickes on resonator guitar, Seth Taylor, on acoustic guitar and a pair of great banjoists, Ron Block and Scott Vestal. Mark Fain not only plays bass, but is also the producer for this project.

Not being familiar with Tammy Jones Robinette, or her music, I immediately took note of her considerable vocal qualities. Her voice is that of a pretty ‘alto.’ Her notes are consistently ‘spot-on’ and she sings with ease and command. Quite notably, in the view of this reviewer, Ms. Robinette demonstrates a unique vocal beauty that expresses clarity of both tone and of words, as well as sincerity of message. Those qualities are paired with a ‘tempered’ vocal power that is able to sustain those occasional long notes without losing tonal resonance, or her vocal motif.

The reminiscing, "To Be A Kid Again", (penned by Ms. Robinette), opens the curtain on this project and well illustrates Ms. Robinette’s smooth vocal style, as well as a bit of her ‘upper-register’ range. Though this cut might not fall under the typical ‘Gospel’ music umbrella, it is clearly a ‘G-rated,’ family friendly experience with such innocent content that it would be welcome in all but the most puritanical places of worship.

One of my favorite tracks is "I’ve Got To Work On The Ark". This upbeat, hard-driving bluegrass piece showcases Ms. Robinette’s ability to generate a sense of excitement with both her vocals and her presentation, a characteristic that should delight her audiences. Here, Bush, Taylor, Hayney, Vestal and Ickes are able to stretch out and showcase their instrumental mastery. Tammy achieves a similar rousing effect with "My Rock" and "Oh I Want To See Him". I especially enjoyed Scott Vestal’s banjo work on these two tracks, though all the instrumentalists play to the level one would expect of some of the very finest among us.

"The Man In Those Shoes", another original composition, is a slower-tempo piece dedicated to her husband, Jim, that poignantly recounts her appreciation of his steadfast dedication to his family. It benefits from a beautiful intro arrangement, performed by Taylor, Ickes, Bush and Hayney, and, of course, Ms. Robinette’s voice.

Tammy Jones Robinette’s voice shines on every track, as does that of her ‘back-up’ harmony vocals, provided by the esteemed Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, Jamie Dailey, Jimmy Fortune, Jennifer Wrinkle and Derrick Casteel. The entire work is professionally crafted from top to bottom. From the overall mix and superb song selection, to the finely crafted arrangements, this CD is a high quality production, and a credit to producer, Mark Fain’s, and engineer, Terry Thompson’s talents.

As you might be able to tell, by now, I can easily recommend this CD for purchase by bluegrass music enthusiasts, particularly those with an affinity for Bluegrass Gospel music, magnificently presented.

Image635843932499594956Reviewed for Prescription Bluegrass by Mark Raborn

© 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment

ALL comments are moderated and must be approved by the administrator of this blog. SPAM Comments, HATE Comments and general dis-respect will be ignored and deleted. Opposite opinion comments will be posted if presented in a polite and professional approach.

Subscribe Now: RSS Reader