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Stories and snapshots. That’s the essence of widely respected mandolinist/guitarist Tom Corbett’s new album Tonight I Ride: openhearted stories and fond snapshots of characters and scenes from the American
West —some real, some imagined, all sensitively rendered by Corbett’s soulful fretwork and other sublimely musical players who number among the West Coast’s finest, including bluegrass legends Herb Pedersen and Bill Bryson, Los Lobos percussionist Victor Besetti, guitar goddess Nina Gerber, renowned singersongwriter Claire Holley and vocalist extraordinaire Jonathan McEuen.
Tonight I Ride, which follows 2001’s Upstairs at Charlie’s and 2004’s Cloudless Blue Sky, shows Corbett really hitting his stride. The entire album
is a crisply produced showcase for the witty and multi-talented Corbett, who’s been picking on bluegrass, newgrass and old-time tunes since picking up his father’s Vega banjo-mandolin at age 11.
For years he was a hired gun behind artists
such as Robin & Linda Williams, The Dirt Band’s John McEuen, Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness and was even called upon to teach Tom Selleck how to play
ukulele for a role. Now he steps into his own role of gunslinger—a front man with pioneer spirit, lightning fast fingers and a heart of pure California gold.