CD Reviews

Dean Dobbins Music Reviews

THE DEAN DOBBINS BAND, Volume One


In 1990 The Dean Dobbins Band won The Californian Country Music Association Band Of The Year award. Alongside several other chart topping and songs of the year awards from this period. Since those heady days the band has now broke up and Dean does mainly solo work in and around the San Fernando Valley.


During the bands heyday they played famous places like The Palomino. The Crazy Horse. The Cowboy Palace. The Mule Lip Saloon. The Bandstand. Olde Susana's as well as the Big Bear Convention Centre. Joshua Tree and State Fairs. The opened shows for the likes of Tammy Wynette. Janie Fricke. Rick Nelson the Kendall's and Johnny Lee.


The reason behind this CD and the follow up Volume Two is because of the power of the world wide Internet. Check out Stuart Cameron's Hotdisc, which services European Country Radio. But just as important Dean's fans from the old days that want his work on CD format even though it's from yester-year.


All of the 12 tracks are written by Dean Dobbins including "Writers & Pickers". That won him the CCMA Songwriter of the Year Award. "He Can Dance" reached the coveted top spot in New Music Review and number two in Indie Bullet magazine. "One, Two, Three". Dean Male Vocalist of the Year and his band won The CCMA Band Of The Year.


This is a smashing album filled with real swinging country music and splendid songs. If you like your country music like it should be played then like me you are going to love this splendid CD. I cannot get it off my player. Never mind re-inventing country music. The Dean Dobbins Band is proof that it never went away, just rested for a while.


- BRIAN AHERN


THE DEAN DOBBINS BAND, Volume One (DDB 010)


Make no mistake about it, Dean Dobbins ran one hell of tight unit between the mid-1980s and '90s, but e-mails to Keith Farley lately suggest that Dean is now working as a solo act. The Dean Dobbins Band compiled enough material for two CDs and, whilst scant in terms of established Nashville acts, their output over a decade was impressive. Dean is a gifted writer and, as mentioned in my review of "Volume Two" (below), it was the cleverly infectious 'Writers And Pickers', which appeared on a Country Hotdisc compilation and initially attracted me to this versatile aggregation. Dobbins comes across as a kind of journeyman writer and performer and it's a real bummer that an artist of his obvious calibre can't crack the market and create a commercial niche for himself - complete with band. Dean possesses a light but tuneful voice ideally suited to easy-going Western-Swing outings, but he is also adept at turning his hand to slow-paced and meaningful ballads or top-notch foot-stomper! like 'Writers And Pickers'. I do hope that the original concept of the Dean Dobbins Band isn't just another American lost cause, because they were good. And I do mean G-O-O-D! 


- BRYAN CHALKER, Traditional Music Maker Magazine 


THE DEAN DOBBINS BAND, Volume One


Ray Grundy - Metro Radio, England "What An EXCELLENT CD!!!"


Dann Hansen, Roskilde, Denmark ."a great CD"


James Pearson, BBC Radio Shetland, Scotland "12 excellent tracks" 


"HE CAN DANCE", 1st single from THE DEAN DOBBINS BAND, Volume One


Brian Ahern - Country & More magazine, UK New to me but WOW!!


John Brookfield - Pathfinder Magazine, UK Brilliant - let's hear more from them


Laurence Richardson - CMRU magazine, UK Great happy music


Barry Thistleton - CMRU magazine, UK Great sound they make


Jackie Blair - Country & Dance magazine, UK Excellent


Maurice Hope - CMRU magazine, UK Great swing song


Barry Dixon - "Now Dig This" magazine, UK Should get lots of airplay


DJs:


Otto Waldoft - Radio Gladsaxe, Germany Excellent western swing music -best cut on Hotdisc


Brian Carr - Linedance DJ, UK Love it


Marines Vermeulen - Midland FM, Holland Terrific honky-tonk song


Phil Kaye - Radio Plymouth, UK Great linedance track


Bernard Green - Linedance DJ, UK Terrific record


Adrian Farley - Linedance DJ, UK Wonderful song


David Smith - Thatcham Radio, UK Excellent song


Eddy Veldkamp - Radio Winschoten, Holland I love this kind of music


Leo Van Camp - Radio Beval, Belgium Excellent


Phil Humphris - Linedance DJ, UK Excellent


Alan Priestley - Linedance DJ, UK Great bouncy number

 

THE DEAN DOBBINS BAND, Volume Two (DDB 011)


Outside of mainstream radio plays, which are as rare as hen's teeth, there is another method of hearing new talent and that is through the various CD compilations emanating from localised labels in the States and Stuart Cameron's Country Hotdisc here in the UK. Not everything appearing on these promotional discs is top-notch and one gets used to taking the rough with the smooth and smooth springs to mind when listening to the Dean Dobbins Band, based in Chatsworth, California. One of Dobbins' tracks was featured on a Hotdisc compilation and my reaction sheet comments were obviously favourable enough for Dean to mail a complete CD of his music. His is a very smooth variation on traditional Western-Swing sounds and quite a jump away from the first song that attracted me to the band, "Writers And Pickers, featured on 'The Dean Dobbins Band Volume One', released over a year ago. That aside, this latest collection is about as country as it gets these days and proof that young pickers, singers and writers outside of the Nashville gristmill can still teach the record moguls in Music City a thing or two about American roots and heritage. Between them the band produce a sweet, effortless sound and although the CDs packaging lacks professional finesse, there is much to recommend the music contained therein.


- BRIAN CHALKER, Traditional Music Maker Magazine


THE DEAN DOBBINS BAND, Volume Two


"A fine appealing album from this very talented singer/songwriter. Dean puts all his songs over really well with strong sincere singing, the supporting music and background vocals are superb.... This album is a joy to listen to...."


- Graham Hassall, Country Music Broadcaster, Radio Nightingale


DEAN DOBBINS, Rickety Boat


Award winning Californian singer/songwriter/bandleader Dean Dobbins sent in his first solo CD "Rickety Boat," a stripped down CD of 24 self penned songs featuring voice, guitar and piano, spanning 25 years of Dean's career. At present Dean is a host songwriter at Kulak's Woodshed in North Hollywood California, a position that he cherishes. I have always been a fan of singer/songwriters especially those who are country, and Dean most certainly fits into this category with the greatest of ease. I honestly find this CD to be beautiful to say the least. Not in a commercial way, although it is quite easy to see beyond the basic simplicity which the album projects into the full studio production that is deserved for such a fine piece of work.


Dean has a lifetime of songs to sing based on his life's experiences. Each and every song projects his rich love of life and its values, from romance to built-in humour spiced with a little hurt and some wishful thinking for good measure. The poetry of his simple word fits country music perfectly as does his honesty as a wordsmith and his all knowing voice. His website will enlighten you further. The adoration of a loved one can be found in "You Mean Everything To Me," "The Way True Love Really Feels," "It's a Perfect Night To Fall In Love," "Losin Control Of The Reins" and "Their Own Piece Of Heaven." Dean's humour comes through in "To Old For A Playboy Centerfold," "Just What The Doctor Ordered" and "I Owe Everybody (And I Owe It To You)." His love for performing and songwriters shines in "Old Kristofferson Songs" and "An Occasional Casual," a song about a part time singer. Hurt is found in "I Can't See The Good In Goodbye," "Who Cares?", "Whiskey Wishin," "Bad Day," "Dead End Road" and "Finally Moving On."


In fact, every track on "Rickety Boat" is a winner. The title track is a wise song of fishing and life. "One More For The Road" is a road song that musicians can relate to and thing about. I love it to bits. "Children's Games" is so reflective and gentle. This fine album is going amongst my singer/songwriter albums marked regular play. Excuse me while I go back to enjoying more of Dean Dobbins and "Rickety Boat," a splendid singer/songwriter CD.


- BRIAN AHERN 


DEAN DOBBINS, Fly Again


I am a great admirer of the talented Dean Dobbins. A singer songwriter from California who at one stage along with his band won many awards in and around his home state and also played on the same bill as many well-known country music performers. Over the past decade The Dean Dobbins Band have broken up but still retain a firm friendship. Dean now involves himself in solo work and regular singer songwriter sessions.


The 26 piano/vocal and guitar/vocal recordings on "Fly Again" are all songs written and performed by Dean an in fact are a part of a series of by request recordings from his many fans. The quality of this home studio made album is excellent as is the performance and songs. It makes you wonder why this guy is not a major star in his own right. I also know that a Nashville song plugger is getting Deans work listened to and put on hold by some of Music City's stars that work under the title of Country.


If you are into country singer songwriter material then you should seek out the work of Dean Dobbins. You will be pleasantly surprised at the man's huge talent. I was to the point of becoming a fan and that is recommendation.


- BRIAN AHERN 


DEAN DOBBINS, Airplane Food


Dean Dobbins lives in California where he has gained a huge reputation over the years as a singer/songwriter. At one stage The Dean Dobbins Band was voted top band in California and opened shows for major country stars. These days Dean plays singer/songwriter shows mainly to keep his passion for music alive. In private life he is a paediatrician.


His work has been picked up by major country performers and he retains a Nashville-based song agency. Check out his website, you will find it interesting. The album Airplane Food is a collection of some of his recent songs mixed in with old favourites recorded as demos with guitar vocals and piano vocals in his home studio. He wrote all of the 23 tracks and to be honest I have enjoyed every one of them. I have said the same thing about past Dean Dobbins albums that I have reviewed, but I cannot get away from the fact that I am a fan of this guy and his music and I fervently believe that his work should be discovered by fans of good country music everywhere.


It would be nice if a country music recording star was to pick up on a Dean Dobbins‚ song again and gain him the recognition that he deserves with his song writing. More so if his fine country voice could reach a larger market then who knows what might happen?

Meanwhile I will totally recommend Airplane Food to your collection of good country music.


- BRIAN AHERN