Bobby Osborne is one of a handful of first generation bluegrass pioneers still practicing his craft. Originally known for his work with his brother Sonny, Bobby has launched his solo career after six decades in the music business. Osborne has been best known for his high, distinct tenor which he brought to bear on classics like "Rocky Top" and "Ruby (Are You Mad)." Over the years, the Osborne Brothers abandoned their more experimental streak for a traditional, acoustic-based bluegrass, and Bluegrass Melodies follows suit. Osborne is joined by the Rocky Top X-Press, featuring banjoist Dana Cupp, bassist Daryl Mosley, guitarist Bobby Osborne, Jr. (son), fiddler Glen Duncan, and dobroist Matt Despain. Osborne's in good voice and excels on numbers like the title cut. There are also fine versions of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "Music Makin' Man." Bluegrass Melodies is a solid release and should please longtime fans, though the proceedings rarely inject the kind of high-octane energy and high-flying vocals that once left the Osborne Brothers' fans dumb struck (this statement would probably be equally true of the most recent Osborne Brothers' releases). Still, Osborne remains a distinctive vocalist, easily separating himself from an ever growing field of contemporary bluegrass bands.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
feat: Rhonda Vincent