Taking time out from his frontman position in the acclaimed Lonesome River Band, Brandon Rickman from the git-go lets you know his roots: solid country with a generous dose of bluegrass flowing from a mastery of multiple stringed instruments. His twangy voice is pitch perfect for the task, and the often dusky nature of his compositions immediately sets the listener down into reflection and fenceline blues. Interestingly, he frequently takes to a folky nature by stripping down the accompaniment and tone of approach, even going solo on three tracks.
Rain & Snow is an excellent illustration of that sparer direction. A duet with singer-fiddler Jenee Fleenor, it simultaneously invokes hallowed Monterey Fest days, a slice of Oklahoma (the musical), and a blend of Eric Weissberg, Mason Williams, and John Hartford's best. Then, of course, there are the lyrics. Have a hankie ready for a number of cuts, especially material like What I Know Now, 'cause you're going to shed a tear in kindred knowledge and sympathy. On the other hand, all you gents out there, you'll find yourselves indulging in a grimace and a chuckle as you hear Rickman's all-too-familiar recitation in I Bought Her a Dog.
I think the ladies will share that nervous but humorous discomfort, too, come to think of it.
Young Man, Old Soul is solid as hell, pristinely recorded, brimming with yesteryear's refrains and melodies, catchy with chops and hooks, powerful in its sentiments and emotions, a disc that presents the timelessness of the country's essence in the working man's life, It's a tribute well preserved by the artful presence of times gone by speaking to the new millenium. The public can only find it almost spooky how well the Rural Rhythms label can pick 'em, but, lord-amighty, they made a crucial decision publishing this one because it's destined to become a classic, no argument. Man, does this guy have a voice on him! The DJs who pass this by will find themselves slinking out of town in disgrace after the rest of the public catches up to Brandon Rickman.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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