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The Real McCoy

Eastern Kentucky (Kindred)
Tommy Webb

By Bob Mitchell

Webb is a bluegrass version of "the real McCoy." A native of Langley, Kentucky, near the legendary Route 23 (where so many award-winning bluegrass and country artists originated), Webb absorbed the mountain's musical influence and released a formidable recording.

He sings lead and tenor, plays guitar and old time clawhammer banjo and contributes two original songs: a lovely gospel waltz, "Who Is That Knocking," and a lighthearted (but truthful) "If It Weren't for Bluegrass Music I'd Go Crazy" - this track alone is worth the purchase price. His sincere vocals are especially noteworthy on Larry Cordle's "Lonesome For You," Flatt & Scruggs' classic "No Mother or Dad," and Ralph Stanley's "Rocky Island."

Webb's current band includes Chris Goble on banjo and harmony vocals, Tadd Huff on acoustic bass and baritone vocals and Kenny O'Quinn on mandolin and bass vocals. Guesting on this project are Harold Nixon (acoustic bass) and Ron Stewart. Stewart is a workhorse, providing his phenomenal fiddle and banjo as well as mandolin, guitar and resonator guitar. He also produced and mixed the project.

The liner notes do not specify musician names for each track but every one of these men makes a significant contribution to the overall excellence of the recording. Especially enjoyable are a first rate cover of Jimmy Martin's instrumental romp, "Arab Bounce," the twin fiddles on a poignant "Someday You'll Call My Name," the tight harmonies "South of Cincinnati," and "Lonesome for You," and the banjo work in "Julie Ann" and "It's All Behind Me Now."

Any fan of traditional music will find many hours of listening pleasure on this release.

For more information go to www.kindredrecords.com