Bobby Hicks

Fiddle Patch – 1998 (Rounder)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

CDs by Bobby Hicks

Bobby Hicks is one of the great fiddle players of our time. Part of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys in the 1950's, he recorded such classic Monroe instrumentals as "Big Mon," "Tall Timber," "Cheyenne" and "Roanoke." Since 1980, Hicks has been in Ricky Skaggs' band. This album, his first solo project in many years, is delightful in its breadth of offerings.

The 10 instrumentals are a mix of uptempo favorites, "Whiskey Before Breakfast" and "Katy Hill" and traditional-styled waltzes, "Gardenia Waltz," "Angel Waltz" and "Faded Love." Del McCoury sings on "We're Steppin' Out Tonight," and "Oh, What a Silent Night."

The best is "Lily Dale," featuring Hicks in the rare role of lead vocalist. Whether out in front of a fiddle tune or in a supporting role, Hicks shows why he remains one of the best. His tone and sense of timing are impeccable. He's joined here by Ronnie & Rob McCoury, Craig Smith, Buddy Spicher, Charlie Cushman, Bryan Sutton, Marty Stuart and Skaggs. It's easy to take Hicks for granted. He's been so good for so long.