Home Read Classic Album Review: Don Rigsby | Empty Old Mailbox

Classic Album Review: Don Rigsby | Empty Old Mailbox

The Kentucky bluegrass definitely isn't mailing it in on his sophomore album.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Bluegrass singer and mandolin picker Don Rigsby has lived his entire life in the hill country of Eastern Kentucky. That much is obvious two minutes into his entrancing sophomore CD Empty Old Mailbox, a homemade quilt of traditional banjo, dobro, fiddle and gospel harmony.

Rigsby’s heritage, homeland and upbringing seep out of every plucked note and twangy vocal on these 14 tales of God, country and family. What takes a little longer to sink in is just how talented Rigsby truly is. With his smooth rural croon, easygoing delivery and unpretentious picking style, he makes it look easy, whether he’s delivering a solemn Appalachian tale of tragedy like Bluestone Mountain or cookin’ up a storm on a wicked, lickety-split breakdown like These Old’ Blues or Louise. His roots may be in Kentucky, but Rigsby sounds like he’d be at home anywhere he could get up and play.