Long known as one of the most versatile and accomplished talents in bluegrass through his work with J. D. Crowe, the Lonesome River Band, Longview, a trio of solo releases and a pair of highly-regarded duet albums with Dudley Connell, Don Rigsby returns with the second release with his regular touring band, Midnight Call (from the title of one of the solo discs). The title tips off the fact that it's a gospel release, but Rigsby understands better than most that it's a genre that works best when it's telling a story instead of preaching.
And the stories here feature a surprising cast of characters, some in search of redemption and grace, some with lessons to teach: fallen women, orphans, hypocrites and more. The band is stocked with veteran sidemen (though sadly, fiddler Gerald Evans has recently succumbed to cancer), and Rigsby still has one of the most malleable and compelling voices in the business. Interestingly, the disc's outstanding track is the least "grassy," a scorching duet with blues icon (and Kentucky neighbor) Rory Block on Forgiveness. An unexpected pairing, but Rigsby has always had a knack for going beyond convention.