Hank Thomas David Charles‘s Lil’ Dobro reviewed by Roy Elkins.
I seem to be on roll where I am picking really good stuff to review and it is difficult to find anything that I would change. This song, Lil’ Dobro, was submitted by two of the great writers on Broadjam, Hank Thomas David Charles. Both of these guys know how to write a good song and collaborated on this one. Songs like this are hard to improve upon, but I’ll try and provide my two cents. By the way, If you want to hear some of their other work, just listen to either of these playlists. Roy Elkins Broadjam
Here are my thoughts on Lil’ Dobro:
Love the intro to this, pulled me in right away. I immediately thought of the Allman Brothers Band as the vocal was reminiscent of an early Johnny Neel. When ABB reunited in the late 90s, Johnny was the keyboardist opposite Gregg and has a simliar tone to his voice. I was also thinking this might be a good song for a Charlie Daniels type of an act.
Very nice groove to this, great players, especially the rhythm section. Love the rhythm of the singer as he has got a natural traditional country groove to his delivery….. and he breaks it tastefully into a statement at a couple of points, like at 1:59. He knows how to interpret a song. I’d love to know who this is as I would highly recommend him.
I love the line, I ain’t got no money, but I do have a little dobro. This is the hook of the song and clearly one of the most memorable I have heard recently. Very inventive and skillfully witty.
My guess is that this was recorded by a session producer as it was very well done. It sounds like a demo mix and not necessarily a final recording as the vocal is slightly louder than it might be if it was on a record, especially in the earlier parts of the song. Many demo producers do this as they want the melody and vocal to stand out when pitching.
Since the song was about a dobro, I expected some inspired dobro playing. However, these are clearly session players who are knocking out song after song, they probably didn’t have much time to write a unique musical hook that is as strong as the lyrical and melodic hook. Very rarely will you get their “A” game as their best stuff ends up on a record. And in their defense, this is a demo and that’s probably how it should be. While I will remember the song and the clever hook about a dobro, I probably will not remember the musical hook.
The second part of the opening line is a little forced, :”fine spring afternoon”. One other line that caught my critical ear me as I’m not sure what the intent was, “leave your money at the door.” When I first listened to the line, my initial thought was Old Man Whitford told them to “leave money at the door” and then they could “sit on the porch and play,” as the following line states. Basically, they were paying him to play on his porch. Maybe it’s the second line that could be modified. I think there could be a little clarity here. I feel like I’m nitpicking as there is really nothing that “must” be changed. If it was my song and I was going to re-cut, I might re-visit the aforementioned suggestions, but this song is ready to pitch right now and I would gladly put this in our publishing catalog.
Hank Thomas David Charles‘s Lil’ Dobro
Hope this helps,
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