For five decades, Bobby Osborne served as the lead singer and mandolinist of the Osborne Brothers, one of the first-generation bluegrass groups. Now, after the retirement of his brother Sonny, Osborne has embarked on a solo career with the Rocky Top X-Press in tow. Bobby Osborne has always possessed one of the most distinctive tenors in bluegrass, and his vocal style remains in great form on Try a Little Kindness. He's also chosen to feature three-person harmony on many of the songs' choruses, much in the tradition of the Osborne Brothers. The arrangements of fiddle, banjo, mandolin, Dobro, and bass are tastefully rendered, concentrating more on the song itself than lots of fancy picking (though there is a lot of fancy picking on the instrumental "Rocky Top X-Press). The material ranges far and wide, from classics like "The Fields Have Turned Brown" to more recent classics like "Sunday Morning Coming Down." It's interesting to note that at one time the Osbornes were considered quite experimental, adding steel guitar and other non-traditional elements to their recording sessions. On Try a Little Kindness, however, the listener hears a sound much closer to traditional bluegrass. Bobby Osborne has recorded an album that will please old fans, traditionalists, and anyone who likes solid roots music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.