During the later part of 2005, I set about transferring the seemingly countless reels of tape that belonged to my deceased uncle, Nashville session man Bobby Thompson. Bobby was (is) a legendary banjo player and was also brilliant on the guitar, as he logged countless session hours with the likes of Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Ray Charles, Jim & Jesse, Paul McCartney, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe, Les Paul, Neil Young and innumerable others. First through exposure to his work on Hee-Haw, then through the amazing Area Code 615, and subsequently through these reels loaned by my aunt, whom he married in the early 1980’s, I became increasingly aware of my humble uncle’s notoriety.
Bobby passed away in May of 2005 after living with multiple sclerosis for the better part of two decades, during which time he lost his ability to play music. Following his death, I visited my aunt and learned of these reels that are largely comprised of unreleased material. An amateur audio archivist, I undertook transferring them to digital format as a way of ensuring that his work would be preserved for generations to come, while also wanting to allow my aunt to hear any given piece without having to fire up the reel-to-reel player.
Being rather obsessed with finding samples at the time, Joel and I heard lots of potential in these reels that dated from the 1950’s through the 80’s. Several years had passed when Joel informed me this past fall that he intended to release a DND EP centered on samples from the reels that he had started to piece together four years ago. Though I’m biased, this is such a cool, unique project. I’m very grateful to Joel for putting his energy into it. Thanks also to Judy and Bobby, for whom this project is dedicated. I hope that you enjoy it.
- Rob Rickman, Jr.
released 30 March 2010
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