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Young Man Old Soul

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Album Review

Bluegrass musician Brandon Rickman has been the lead singer of the Lonesome River Band for the past six years, and has no relation to the Brandon Rickman who won the reality show Make Me a Supermodel in 2009. Rickman replaced guitarist/singer/songwriter Ronnie Bowman, a daunting task, but he's been more than up to the challenge. On Young Man, Old Soul, Rickman shows off his multi-instrumental prowess picking guitar, bass, and mandolin as well as singing lead and harmony vocals and contributing co-writes to eight of the album's 11 tunes as well as one original that is all his own. The program is about evenly balanced between bluegrass, gospel, and acoustic country tunes. The one exception is the traditional "Rain & Snow," arranged by Rickman and fiddler Jenee Fleenor as an old-time, bare-bones lament that showcases the duo's high lonesome harmonies, Rickman's solid picking, and Fleenor's haunted fiddle. The album kicks off with "Always Have, Always Will," a rocking bluegrass tune that wallows in whiskey, lost love, and hopelessness. Fleenor's fiddle, the banjo of Aaron McDaris (of Rhonda Vincent's band), and Randy Kohrs' steel guitar drop tasty solos. Lost love also figures in the lyric of "Here Comes That Feeling Again," but this time it's unmitigated by drink. Rickman wrings emotion out of every word with his hopeless vocal, while Fleenor's fiddle weeps in the background. Rickman takes on the hazards of love again on "I Bought Her a Dog," co-written with Tammy Rogers. This time the tongue-in-cheek lyric deals with the mutt that's coming between husband and wife. Rickman's wry vocal is full of humor and pathos. Rickman's country side shines on Buddy Owens' "Wide Spot in the Road," a tale of a country boy missing his home told with self-deprecating humor, and "Dime Store Rings," a story-song that traces the lives of two hard-working folks from high school to retirement without the usual lyrical clichés that can make this kind of song embarrassing. Carter Stanley's "Let Me Walk Lord" is given a minimal arrangement, with Andy Ball's mandolin and Rickman's guitar supporting their sanctified harmonies. "Rest for His Workers" gets an old-fashioned gospel trio treatment, with Larry Cordle and Val Storey adding harmonies to Rickman's lead. "Wearin' Her Knees Out Over Me" closes the album with a note of salvation. It brings to mind "Mama Tried," only this time mama's prayers lead her son back to the light. Rickman's sincerity is especially affecting here. ~ j. poet, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Awesome Album!

Great great great album...

Young Man Old Soul, Brandon Rickman
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