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Don McLean

Sings Marty Robbins – 2001 (Relentless Nashville)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Don McLean

In his liner notes, Don McLean says his interest in Marty Robbins was fueled when he bought a cd of Robbins' music for his son's birthday. That McLean was impressed with the variety of styles Robbins tackled is evident by the selection of songs covered and arrangements used.

The obvious picks are here. "Singing the Blues" and "El Paso" are treated to straight forward country arrangements, and the ballad "You Gave Me a Mountain" is delivered effectively.

Other choices are more curious. McLean covers the pop ballad "Among My Souviniers" and Gordon Lightfoots' "Ribbon of Darkness," both of which Robbins covered but that are not identified with him. McLean also does Hank Williams "Kaw Liga," which has an interesting instrumental mix that includes standup bass, banjo and piano. The arrangement to "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" also has a strange juxtaposition of musical styles as it begins as a Gershwin type ballad then shifts suddenly to blues-rock with a heavy guitar solo at the mid-break.

Though McLean lacks the vocal range of Robbins fans of Robbins music and the folk/pop work of Mclean should enjoy this collection.