|Don Edwards has dedicated his musical career to preserving Western songs, and the lovely Kin to the Wind follows this inclination. Here, he adds a special twist by concentrating on songs sung or appreciated by Marty Robbins. A number of things seem to make this album a success, including nice arrangements, intricate acoustic guitar, good song choice, and Edwards' vocals. Things get started with "Saddle Tramp," an ode to the freedom of roaming the range, while "San Angelo," an epic narrative of love and death, explores the pleasures and perils of the Western landscape. "I'm Kin to the Wind" is filled with evocative lyrics, painting such an idyllic portrait of Western life that the listener may be tempted to saddle up and hit the trail. Even on tragic ballads like "Old Red," this Western landscape is tinged with romanticism; love may not work out in "I'll Step Aside" or "Is There Anything Left I Can Say," but the sadness is laced with beautiful melancholy. Edwards is in good voice, and his plaintive vocals are very reminiscent of Robbins. The arrangements are fairly simple, dominated by exquisite guitar fills, quiet steel guitar, and occasionally trumpets. Each of the 12 songs is a keeper, and it is refreshing that better-known songs (and perhaps overplayed ones) like "El Paso" were bypassed. It is unfortunate that this music will never end up on the country hit parade, but such is life. Edwards has made a great album that should be warmly appreciated by his fans, Robbins' fans, and lovers of good Western music. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.