National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (Cowboy Hall of Fame) Wrangler Award winner for Best Traditional Album of the Year 2001. Don Edwards is often compared to Marty Robbins. No surprise here, as both are great singers of Western Music. Robbins was and continues to be one of Don''s biggest influences. While performing, Edwards will often sing a song either written by or associated with Robbins, and afterwards fans will ask if there is a recording with Don''s version of those songs. Now there is, Kin To The Wind. Don is joined here with his pickin'' pals from Texas, including Rich O''Brien, Tom Morrell, Mark Abbott and the Tex-Mex trumpets of Dave Alexander and Bill Atwood.
In an era of album-length artist tributes, Grand Ole Opry star Marty Robbins has been one notable and surprising oversight. Robbins, who died in 1982, gained fame not only for hits, but for a bold, eclectic 30-year musical legacy that spanned country, cowboy, pop, Hawaiian, and rockabilly. Acclaimed Western vocalist Don Edwards, a Robbins fan from the beginning, knows the man's music well, a fact reflected not only through his sparkling and inspired interpretations but through his wisdom in avoiding obvious Robbins hits including "El Paso." He opted instead for less obvious Western choices like "Saddle Tramp," "San Angelo," "Old Red," and "Man Walks Among Us." He's equally at home with Robbins's 1956 honky-tonk mega-hit "Singing the Blues" and his first big hit, the ballad "I'll Go On Alone." While Edwards never imitates, it's obvious that Robbins's style inspired and shaped his own. With low-key backing by steel guitarist Tom Morrell, acoustic picker and producer Rich O'Brien, and a number of other Texas musicians, Edwards captures Robbins's essence with admirable sensitivity and flair. --Rich Kienzle
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