Just before his star exploded as a result of his amazing lead vocal on the hit version of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow," which appeared on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' Great Depression farce O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Dan Tyminski recorded his brief but fantastic debut solo album, Carry Me Across the Mountain, while on sabbatical from Union Station. He gets the expected help from Union Station alumni past and present (Alison Krauss, Adam Steffey, Ron Block, and Barry Bales), and also gathers together some of his other favorite players and influences, who just happen to be prominent members of the bluegrass elite (Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice, etc.). It is Tyminski's gorgeous, graceful, toasty lead vocals, though, that carry the day. As opposed to his full-time combo's more irreverent, progressive take on the genre, Tyminski explores more traditional bluegrass territory (ballads, mountain songs, spirituals, instrumentals), but through mostly original material, closer to his previous unit, the Lonesome River Band. He chimes in with a trio of his own co-written tunes while offering spotlight contributions from Block ("Be Assured") and former Union Station member Tim Stafford. And although each song is a highlight, the title track is perhaps the most exciting performance and lays the blueprint for Tyminski's O Brother contribution. The crack band also whips through a couple old country ("I Dreamed of an Old Love Affair," "Sunny Side of the Mountain") and bluegrass (the Louvin Brothers' "Tiny Broken Heart") classics with exhilarating, down-homey results. The mood is both elegantly unembellished and joyous, a throwback but wholly pristine and fresh. It is a superb addition to the already strong discographies of both Union Station and the Lonesome River Band, and a lovely little first effort as leader for Tyminski.
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AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart