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James Alan Shelton

Where I'm Bound – 2010 (Shelton)

Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones

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CDs by James Alan Shelton

James Allen Shelton has been a mainstay with Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys for many years. One would anticipate his mastery of mountain style music, but he also delivers folk music, country, and light rock with equal skill.

He kicks off with the traditional Cherokee Shuffle, and plays three finger bluegrass banjo on Riding on the Clinchfield, but also includes cuts from artists as diverse as Tom Paxon, (Where I'm Bound) Donovan, and The Beatles. (I'll Follow The Sun.) As he says in the liner notes, "a good song is a good song," and he delivers the melody on everything from ballads to breakdowns to old time numbers. His cross picking is especially strong.

Shelton is a versatile artist. He did all the lead and rhythm guitar work on the CD and much of the bass, mandolin, and banjo parts, as well as the lead vocals on several numbers.

This is a bluegrass based recording, but by no means confined to the genre. The CD should be of interest to music fans who wish to hear the interpretation of a variety of styles by a traditional artist.