The Uk & Ireland Dobro Celebration
Every once in a while, a new recording comes out and piques your interest. This collection of songs by various Dobro players from the UK and Ireland is one such recording. Chris Eaton, a fine Dobro player from the UK, attended Rob Ickes’ Reso Summit in November of 2022 and was so inspired by the experience he returned home with the aim to produce a recording of some of the best Dobro players from the British Isles. Of the 13 cuts on the recording, nine of the songs are by English players, two songs are by players from the Republic of Ireland, one song by a player from Northern Ireland and one song is by a player from Scotland.
The recording reflects a wide range of styles and moods. Each of the players represented are established and well respected. Chris put up a video on YouTube of a Zoom interview he conducted with several of the players (Google: The UK & Ireland Dobro Celebration) and it is both entertaining and informative and well worth checking out.
The album’s first track “Pig Foot Clinch” clues you in that this project is something different. David Currie lays down some bluesy lines and is joined by a Harp player in what I can only describe as a first for me…Dobro and Harp…who would have thought? The next song “CJ’s Bounce” played by CJ Hillman is a nod to pedal steel great Bud Isaac’s tune “Buds Bounce.” Chris Eaton, starting to dip his toes in the bluegrass vein, follows that up with a spirited version of “Salt Creek/Cherokee Shuffle.” Noel Dashwood contributed an up-tempo toe tapping number “Spraying Mud” where he shows his considerable chops.
Each of the songs on the album offers something different with the Dobro sometimes being the focal point and sometimes used to provide accompaniment. Martin Harley, resonator guitar player extraordinaire, sets a whimsical mood with his playing on “Cowboys in Hawaii” where he croons about a cowboy who longs to trade in his horse for the surf. John Gleason, a member of the internationally known Niall Toner Band, contributed a very moving solo arrangement of the Joni Mitchell classic “Both Sides Now.”
Hats off to Chris Eaton for taking the initiative to pull this notable project together and for sharing the talents of various Dobro players from the British Isles.