Tom Corbett

Upstairs at Charlie's

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For his debut album, mandolinist and songwriter Tom Corbett enlisted the help of a wide array of his musical colleagues, including banjoist Herb Pederson, bassist Bill Bryson, and many others. Corbett himself, who has backed former Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member John McCuen, as well as doing three years with the widely acclaimed Acousticats, is a regular on the West Coast festival circuit. The music is filled with a bouncing good humor. Instrumentally, many of the songs fuse country, bluegrass, and Western swing into a delightful blend, not unlike a less jazz version of David Grisman's so-called Dawg music. Of note are his covers of Bob Willis' "Brain Cloudy Blues" and Vern Stovall and Bobby George's "Lonesome Joe From Kokomo," in addition to fine originals such as "The Cowboy Song," "Sing to Me," and the title track. Corbett doesn't reinvent the mandolin, nor does he try, but he produces an enjoyable album nonetheless.

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