Anyone familiar with the music of the Osborne Brothers from the 1960s and 1970s might recognise the bridge-building spirit that tethered the ancient strains of bluegrass to the punkier sensibilities of newgrass.
Now, at the tender age of 85, Bobby Osborne is back, with considerable style and panache. This humdinger of a collection is anchored by Osborne’s no-nonsense, high lonesome vocals, a truck load of guests (from Vince Gill to Jim Lauderdale and Darrell Scott) and the steady hand of Alison Brown on banjo and production duties.
The mood is one of slightly detatched but utterly compelling wonder at the vicissitudes of living (love lost, lorn and unrequited), and the palette is technicolour. Osborne does Elvis’s Don’t Be Cruel with nonchalant ease, and The Bee Gees’ I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You with throwaway delight. A thoroughbred, through and through.