Raybon Brothers

Marty Raybon - Full Circle – 2003 (Doobie Shea)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

CDs by Raybon Brothers

Add Marty Raybon's name to the list of former country chart toppers who, like Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless, Dolly Parton and Jeannie Kendall, are returning to their roots to make bluegrass-oriented records. Despite his early days as a bluegrass singer, Raybon is best known as the lead singer of the group, Shenandoah, which produced hits in the 80's and 90's.

The new album is as good as anything he did on the country side. His soulful vocals style is perfect for bluegrass. Featuring a crack ensemble of supporting musicians, including guitarist Bryan Sutton and dobro ace, Rob Ickes, Raybon offers up a superb collection of originals, including "I'll Be Your Everything" as well as good renditions of bluegrass standards like "Down The Road," "Home Run Man" and "White House Blues." "Ghost in the House" and "Next To You, Next To Me," both hits for Shenandoah, translate extremely well to bluegrass.

We're fortunate that some country artists can turn to bluegrass once their radio careers are in decline. The music they make often ends up being more pleasing than what Nashville was requiring of them. For Marty Raybon, like Skaggs, Parton and the others, it was a logical move. He's a talented and versatile artist and this album showcases him well.