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Kim Robins

Raining in Baltimore – 2017 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Devin Adams

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CDs by Kim Robins

If you are headed east, take an umbrella because it's "Raining in Baltimore." Kim Robins' sophomore release is a steady downpour of traditional and progressive bluegrass mixed up with a misting of country flair. The liner notes read like a who's who of bluegrass heroes. Produced by Ron Stewart and Rickey Wasson, they also provide banjo, guitar, fiddle and vocal work alongside other fine talents like Adam Steffey on mandolin and Shannon Slaughter singing baritone as well as Harold Nixon on bass. Wasson's daughter, Alicia, sing tenor alongside Robins.

Bill Castle and Hammertowne's Dave Carroll lend their writing talents with "Blue Yesterdays" coming from Castle and "The Love That We'd Once Known," a heartache tune from Carroll. Robins herself pens three songs, including the title track, as well as the wiper-slapping "She's Just Like You" and "Bitter Game." Lightning strikes on the first radio single, "Eye For An Eye" a good ole' revenge song written by Kim Fox. The country flair comes down on "My Baby Thinks He's A Train," a hit for Roseanne Cash from years ago.

"Raining In Baltimore" is full of stories. The title track tells about a country girl feeling alone in the big city and longing to be back home, while the slow ballad, "A Dream," unfolds a better reality while asleep, before waking to find it was sadly, just a dream. "Winchester Road" shows off Stewart's fantastic fiddle playing to a fast banjo roll (also from Stewart). The Dolly Parton favorite, "Sacred Memories" has the honor of wrapping up the project with a solid gospel tune and vocal performance from Robins.

The vast array of talent assembled for "Raining In Baltimore" is evident. Each talent is a cloud in the sky that when brought together makes for one heck of a storm.