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Marty Raybon

This, That & The Other – 2010 (Synchord)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Marty Raybon

Marty Raybon came to national acclaim with the country group Shenandoah, but in recent years, Raybon has concentrated on bluegrass. This CD is a fusion that's mostly bluegrass with strong country influences. Country surfaces in the song selection composers (Billy Craddock, Curly Putnam, Joe Diffie) but there is also Timber by Jimbo Whaley and The Devil's Ol' Workshop by Larry Cordle. Then there's the instruments that make purists wince (no matter how good they sound): piano, steel guitar and drums.

Raybon puts as much emotion into a song as anyone. You feel the pain when he sings Going Through Hell (To Get There) and Blackjack County Chain. He knows how to handle upbeat tunes, too, like Nothin' Ever Hurt Me Half As Bad As Losin' You (a George Jones cut) and, going back to his roots, Luzianna Man. And then there's an a capella number - Didn't It Rain Children - that's a great song.

This CD packaging has earmarks of a low budget, but the production is fine. Marty Raybon is a topnotch entertainer, and it shows.