Release Date: September 16, 2008

By Carl Gage


Buena Vista proves to be another excellent piece of work in a long line of successful efforts by this veteran team and their very fine groups. The eternal kids from the deep south, routed through Lake Wobegon, have done it again, producing a well-crafted and constructed collection of entertaining, easy-to-listen-to original music.

Their, count ‘em, 20th album, from the front to the back was enjoyably, pretty much what we've come to expect from R&L. The opening cut Going, Going, Gone gets you bouncing, smiling and happy to be listening. Then, just as you get comfortable paying attention to the musicianship, arrangements and quality engineering, the knockout song Maybelle's Guitar and Monroe's Mandolin gets you thinking about and appreciating the origins of a lot of great music that has come our way over the years. The one cover, Lefty Frizzell and Sanger Shafer's elegant That's The Way Love Goes is treated with love and respect for the beautiful song that it is.

All in all, a dozen solid songs with a few standouts and a most enjoyable listen. R&L,Tim O'Brien and Dave Ferguson have produced a fine product and the solid playing of some fine musicians puts the finishing touches on the job.

The album features Jerry Douglas on dobro and lap steel, Dennis Crouch on bass, Kenny Malone on percussion, John Jarvis on piano, Jeff Taylor on accordion and pennywhistle, Ray Bonneville on harmonica and Tim on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bouzouki. An admirable ensemble indeed.

Congratulations to Robin, Linda, Tim and Fergie on a fine offering for the 20th.

Carl Gage is a singer-songwriter, musician and writer based in Simi Valley, CA. He is active in the acoustic music community serving on the boards of the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Songmakers, Inc., managing web sites for the FAR-West Folk Alliance, Songmakers and Topanga, emceeing on the main stage at Topanga and other musical events throughout the year, and writing occasional articles for FolkWorks, The Bard Chord and other publications.