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Don Rigsby & Midnight Call

Hillbilly Heartache – 2006 (Rebel)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Don Rigsby & Midnight Call

Bluegrass fans know Don Rigsby as longtime sideman for bands like, The Bluegrass Cardinals, J.D. Crowe and the New South and as a longtime member of The Lonesome River Band, Rock Creek and Longview. In addition, he has two solo albums to his credit.

Rigsby is a bandleader now, with some terrific musicians in his new group, Midnight Call, but rest assured, the sound of the band's debut release is vintage Rigsby. There's not a bad cut here, but the real gems are the gospel cuts, including "He Loves To Hear You Shout," written by Tom T & Dixie Hall, and "I Am The Man, Thomas," featuring Rigsby's wonderful tenor voice backed only by Jesse Wells' clawhammer banjo. There is also a nice rendition of the classic instrumental "Forked Deer."

Members of Hillbilly Heartache are all fine and accomplished musicians, but this album centers around Rigsby and his vocals. It's a terrific album that should appeal to fans of the traditional and non-traditional bluegrass styles.