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Bob Blackshear
Location: Round Rock, Texas, USA
Description: Upbeat Country/Bluegrass Gospel Music
Biography: When someone hears the term “bluegrass,” he naturally thinks of the beautiful blue-green grass of Kentucky with its picturesque mountain ranges and deep valleys. Bluegrass also brings to mind thoughts of toe tapping music played on acoustic instruments, such as a hollow bodied guitar, five stringed banjo, upright bass, fiddle, resonator guitar, mandolin, and a singer or two. The type of sound that proceeds from this style of music is described as “music from the heart through the nose.”

Though bluegrass music began in the eastern U.S.A., in its popularity it has drifted as far as the west coast and around the world. Bluegrass has stayed pure in its original form for the most part, but it has also mixed well with other genres of music, such as country/western, to form a new Texas hill country soundCountry/ Bluegrass.

My latest CD, “Hill Country Gospel,” is played in this new Country/Bluegrass style with all the familiar acoustic instruments. The Texas hill country feel is wedded to the heart of old Kentucky. I hope that you are not only entertained, but more importantly, moved, edified, challenged, and encouraged in the Christian faith by these twelve original songs meant for the glory of God.

Press Release:
In February, 2002, I recorded my first CD, making one hundred copies to sell and give away. I entitled the CD “Hill Country Gospel.” One of the songs, “Shine Like the Son,” was recorded in 2003 by Country Gospel artist, Sally Cowan. More recently, I recorded a “demo” CD of love songs dedicated to my wife Jackie, an excellent published writer herself. It was from one of her marvelous novels, WINDMILLS, that I’ve been inspired to write such songs as “Mama’s Hands,” “That’s Rugene,” “Our Graduation Dance,” and “The Sound of Windmills.” Jackie and I have discussed that when she publishes this book, I might be able to sing my songs as she hawks her books at the various sidewalk book fairs around the Texas Hill Country and other places.

A short time ago, I sang my Country/Bluegrass songs at The Court, an assisted living center in Round Rock, Texas. One resident asked me what inspired me to write the words of my songs. I told her that I wasn’t sure just how, but it seemed to me that God gave the talent for shaping words into song poems and the feel for rhythm and music. However, it has taken years for me to develop within the scope of this talent. What started out being very elementary poems has turned into more profound ones. What began as simple tunes has evolved into a more sophisticated use of simple chords and more elaborate chord progressions, and all this within the simplicity that is Bluegrass music. Though this type of music has been geared to the soul of the common man, it has been the most difficult of all popular styles to play instrumentally. For me, it has taken a great deal of time to master even the simplest runs on the guitar fret board. Though I haven’t given time to figuring out the more complex runs, I have given quality time to being lyrical with simple accompaniments. That has been where this particular endeavor has taken me thus far.

What about the future? I’m semi-retired now, but if I’m permitted to live beyond retirement age, I’ll endeavor to publish and market some of the songs I’ve written and the new ones that will come to me later. If I live very much past retirement, I envision myself sitting around a cracker barrel in front of a potbellied stove with a handful of old pickers who are spinning yarns. While I soulfully and softly play in the background, I’ll listen to the rest of them as they snap at one another and wheeze out their life stories. This will give me plenty of new ideas for songs until I’m called home. But until that blessed event, I’ll just keep writing, singing, and picking Country/Bluegrass Gospel music.

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