Don Rigsby

Empty Old Mailbox

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Assembling a group of tremendous musicians to play on Empty Old Mailbox -- including his old boss, J.D. Crowe; Lonesome River Band mate Sammy Shelor; and dobro master Jerry Douglas -- Don Rigsby has put together a solid solo album that showcases his daunting tenor. He does a wonderful turn through the title track, written by Tom T. Hall and his wife, Dixie, and the barnstormer "Louise," which was penned by the dependable Paul Craft. He also wraps his pipes around a relatively peppy version of John Hartford's "Here I Am in Love Again." Nevertheless, "If I'd Had a Mother Like You" is a bit of a misstep here, representing the kind of newgrass pap that could find its way into the mainstream country arena. "Dust to Dust" is similarly saccharine, and free as it is from any bluegrass influence, it's much less discreet in its Nashville aspirations. Overall, however, this is a strong format for Rigsby's singing and there are plenty of gems here.

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