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Charlie Sizemore

The Story Is...The Songs of Tom T. Hall – 2002 (Rebel)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Charlie Sizemore

Tom T. Hall has been one of country music's most prolific songwriters for more than 30 years. Known for his love of bluegrass, many of his recordings of his own songs included dobro and banjo in their arrangements. His songs have always translated well into the bluegrass genre. In recent years, many have been recorded by bluegrass artists.

It's no surprise then that a bluegrass artist would record an all-Tom T. Hall album. Sizemore, best know for his years in Ralph Stanley's band, has recorded Hall's material before. Here he scores with renditions of many of 'the storyteller's' best songs. "I'll Never Do Better Than You,' features harmony from Sizemore's old boss, Stanley. "Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine," features an introductory recitation by Hall himself. Other tunes include, "The Year That Clayton Delaney Died," "Pamela Brown," "Me and Jesus," and "I Washed My Face In The Morning Dew." Two of the best are versions of lesser-known, Hall compositions, "I Flew Over Our House Last Night," and "Mama's Got The Catfish Blues."

Tribute albums are in vogue these days, but Hall is more than a worthy subject. His songs have held up well. Sizemore has done a nice job of reminding us what a fabulous storyteller Tom T. Hall is and has always been.