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Artist:     Ronnie Bowman

Album:     Ronnie Bowman

Label:     EMG (Engelhardt Music Group)

Release Date:     3.26.20

99

My favorite long-lost co-writer, the late Walter Hyatt, had a saying “My T Fine” he used when he heard something really good. I’m proud to say I use it when I can, because I always think of him when I do. Well folks, what Ronnie Bowman has crafted here is My T Fine+ and smooth as the pudding that uses that hallowed name.

But you really should expect no less from this veteran and the crowd he chooses to run around the world of bluegrass and country with. Be they players like Aubrey Haynie, Dennis Crouch, Wyatt Rice, Co writers like Shawn Camp, Don Cook, Dean Dillon, legendary tunesmiths like Mel Tillis, Cowboy Copas, Jimmy Martin, or even the place where this bunch assembled to record this “Look Ma, No Filler” collection, the legendary Tree Publishing Studio. I really can’t single out any standouts ’cause they all do that in their own My T Fine way.

The opening staple Cowboy Copas’ immortal “Alabam” sets the hay bales on fire and Bowman is helped out trading verses with CHOF Bobby Bare singing from the root cellar, and Del McCcoury up in the hayloft. The closer is a three-way co-write, which in my opinion is usually a crowd, but works well here as it leans into the country vein. Melodies, moods, tempos and keys, change up often, and when it’s over, it feels like it was an EP rather than a full tilt 12-strong song album. I’d give it 100, but I’ll hold it down to 99, cause I don’t want this bunch to get above their raisin’.

—Ken Spooner

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