Dailey & Vincent

Brothers of the Highway

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Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were much in demand bluegrass session players who worked with the likes of Ricky Skaggs and Doyle Lawson before venturing out as a duo, modeling themselves on classic genre duos the Louvins, the Delmores, and the Monroes, floating out high lonesome harmonies over crisp, professional playing. They were already very good when the pairing started, and they're arguably even better now, and this set, which the duo self-produced and which appears on Rounder Records, is full of all the things they do well, blending wonderful vocal harmonies with bright, nuanced playing, and while it's certainly bluegrass grounded in a full awareness of that genre's storied past, it also edges at times into a kind of delightfully graceful kind of folk-country, particularly on songs like the Vince Gill-penned "Hills of Caroline" and the beautiful "Where You've Been," which Kathy Mattea had a radio hit with a while back. All of this gives Brothers of the Highway a nice balance between high-flying bluegrass romps like the opener, "Steel Drivin' Man" (not the traditional tune but an original written by Dailey), reverential covers like the wonderful version here of the Louvin Brothers' ballad "When I Stop Dreaming," and original songs ("Back to Jackson County" -- another Dailey song), with everything adding up to a fine album full of graceful depth.

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