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Don Rigsby - The Midnight Call

The Midnight Call

Don Rigsby

SUG-CD 3958

Sugar Hill Records
P. O. Box 55300
Durham, NC 27717-5300

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
(al@squirrelheads.com)

If you were to sit down and compile a list of the top contemporary bluegrass bands of the past decade, they would undoubtedly include JD Crowe and the New South, Lonesome River Band and Longview. Each of these bands not only offered exceptional musicianship and selected songs from a variety of traditional and modern sources for their material. Each band also included Don Rigsby on mandolin.

Rigsby is now fronting his own band yet the formula remains intact. The release of The Midnight Call includes songs from some of the most influential songwriters around these days: Tom T. Hall, Larry Cordle and Carl Jackson, along with their respective collaborative partners. The tunes Rigsby selected cover themes familiar to bluegrass music. There are songs of drinking, songs of loss and songs of gambling. You might not recognize Rigsby's fresh arrangement of Jimmie Rodger's Those Gambler's Blues, opening with bluesy chops on Rigsby's mandolin and Stuart Duncan's fiddle.

Rigsby is joined by some of the finest musicians in bluegrass. In addition to Duncan, one will find Glen Duncan and Vassar Clements playing fiddle, Rob McCoury, Carl Jackson and Ron Rigsby on banjo, and Jeff White and Jim Hurst on guitar. Ben Isaacs plays a solid bass throughout the entire effort.

It's a toss up what the strength of this album is. The musician ship and the compelling stories within these songs are enough to carry any album. Together, they make for required listening for lovers of fresh sounding acoustic music. Though he has moved on from the bands in which we have come to know him, it's good to hear Don Rigsby keeps on keeping on.

Track List

  • Those Gambler's Blues (Jimmie Rodgers)
  • The Midnight Call (Dixie Hall & Tom T. Hall)
  • Carved Our Names in Stone (Bobby Cyrus)
  • Blood On My Hands (Calvin Rigsby)
  • Dying to Hold Her Again (Jerry Salley & Joanne Keller)
  • Muddy Water (Allan Johnston)
  • What Lays Down The Road (Larry Shell & Larry Cordle)
  • Green Briar River (Jerry Williamson)
  • Green Joy Vine (Larry Shell & Kim Williams)
  • Look Out Below (Carl Jackson & Rodger Brown)
  • Come In Out the Rain (Larry Shell & Larry Cordle)
  • Little White Cross Out On The Highway (Dixie Hall & Tom T. Hall)
  • I've Already Turned That Page (Larry Cordle & Thomas Campbell)

Edited by David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2004, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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