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Tim Hensley

Long Monday – 2008 (Rural Rhythm/Blue Chair)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Tim Hensley

From the plaints of the homeless in New York City ("Ridin' Out the Storm"/Rodney Crowell) all the way to "Shady Grove", Tim Hensley covers a lot of territory in this debut. Hensley, who plays in Kenny Chesney's band, is equally at home on traditional gospel numbers like "Working On A Building" and well known Stanley-influenced numbers such as "Two Coats" as he is with Crowell.

Backed by a superb group of musicians (including Adam Steffey, Rob Ickes, Wyatt Rice and Aubrey Haynie) you won't find a throwaway track here. He touches on heartbreak with "Lonesome Dove" then throws in a light-hearted crowd pleaser like "Fox Run the Henhouse."

The negatives are few and minor. You'll likely adjust your bass response; the CD is mixed with a big, booming bass that can make this sound like a rap track. If you're a bluegrass purist you might raise your eyebrows that there's an accordion (but it is unobtrusive). The other possible negative centers on a debate current among bluegrassers: this is a studio album. The likelihood of hearing this music live with twin fiddles, an accordion and Vince Gill and Patty Loveless singing backup is close to zero. But these are all minor things. Plug it in and listen because it is definitely enjoyable bluegrass.