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Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Come On Back – 2005 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Sometimes it takes the pairing of a new voice with familiar tunes to bring old songs to life, and such is certainly the case with "Come On Back" by Jimmie Dale Gilmore, a tribute to his late father, who loved these songs. But Gilmore isn't just any "voice," but a truly special one, indeed. This new recording is filled with many songs that country music fans may know like the backs of their hands. But whenever Gilmore sings, to paraphrase an old commercial for the brokerage firm E.F. Hutton, people listen.

Gilmore might sing with an otherworldly beauty, but he also knows how to fill a song with the exactly correct emotion, too. When he sings about being "the son of a Saginaw fisherman," in character during "Saginaw, Michigan," his voice simply smolders with anger. And the scolding tongue he uses during "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down" is equally appropriate.

There isn't a common theme here. About the only thing these songs have in common is that they're all old. Old they may be, but they're also all quite good, too. It's awfully hard to go wrong with country treasures like "Walking The Floor Over Your" and "I'm Movin' On." Simply put, "Come On Back" is a winning combination.