West-coast bluegrass picking, country singing dashed with a little old-timey and swing (as on unique cut, ‘Tom’s Place’ where all those involved have the first name of Tom) of the highest order is what you get immediately you place this superb album on your player. Tom’s fluent pickin’ of mandolin, acoustic and rhythm guitar coupled with a warm, relaxed singing voice. That reminds me some of the Texas act of yesteryear, The Geezinslaw Brothers on hearing the accordion, mandolin etc aided ‘Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone’ (the only song Corbett didn't write). Drawing inspiration from the west’s romantic history, its peaks, mountains and valleys plus its giant Redwoods, cactus flowers, golden sunlight his equally beautiful way with a lyric he snares the listener in one foul swoop.
With the aid of a mass of fabulous pickers from the area; though too many to mention I feel the need to mention Nina Gerber (lead, slide guitar), David West (electric guitar, harmony vocals) Tom Rozum (Laurie Lewis), Randy Tico (bass), Candy Girard (viola), Tom Ball (harmonica), Tom Sauber (fiddle, banjo), Bill Bryson (bass, harmony vocals), Herb Pedersen (harmony vocals) and Claire Holley (harmony vocals on ‘Still Hear Her Cryin’). Plus there is the wonderful and most effective piano (and trumpet) on the quirky ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ that sees West on tuba and a feel of ragtime, and talking of ‘middle of nowhere’ his song ’17 Miles A Day’ that speaks of people back in the 19th century participating in the long, arduous journey all the way to America’s western state of California.
Corbett’s varied expanse of music within his west coast acoustic umbrella also sees him take a trip down to Mexico. As he pulls on music of the borderlands. I feel there is a little of John Hiatt or is that me thinking Hiatt would be well advised to check-out ‘Still Hear He Crying’. Whatever, Tom Corbett is someone I recommend you look up and soon. You won’t be disappointed for here is a guy not only keeping traditions alive but enriching music of America’s west through his sublime, all-round talent.
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