This year, Ronnie Reno celebrates his 60th anniversary in bluegrass.
Not bad for a guy who’s 67 years old.
He started performing with his father, Don Reno, on the Old Dominion Barn Dance in 1955.
Through the years, he’s worked with his father, the Osborne Brothers, Merle Haggard and a lot more musicians before going his own way.
Reno also hosts the television series, “Reno’s Old-Time Music Festival,” on RFD-TV
“Lessons Learned” is his first album in almost a decade.
He wrote or co-wrote all but two of the songs — his father’s “Trail of Sorrow” and Lefty Frizzell’s No. 1 single from 1951, “Always Late.”
Lefty’s brother, David Frizzell, joins Reno for a duet on the song.
“Lower Than Lonesome,” the album’s first single, says, “love gets you high, then turns around and says goodbye.”
The title cut says that “joy and pain go together like sun and rain.”
“Bad News At Home,” “Our Last Goodbye” and “Trail of Sorrow” are all about break-ups and pain.
But the album has an almost playful sound — like the instrumental, “Reno’s Mando Magic.”
Bluegrass has always been able to marry sad lyrics to uptempo, almost happy picking.
Reno comes across as an old master, in a comfortable setting, saying, “I know it’s rough now, but it will pass.”
“I Think of You” is a song about a love that’s lasted a lifetime.
And “Deep Part Of Your Heart” says that’s the part of a person’s heart reserved for the one’s you love the most.
Despite all the lonesome songs, “Lessons Learned” is really about surviving life’s hard knocks and finding love.
Can’t find it in stores? Try ronniereno.com.