The Kessinger Brothers


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This is a set of a dozen guitar and fiddle duets recorded at the close of the '20s by a pair or brothers whose career recording such music was basically trounced by the Depression, like many other journeymen musicians. The music is distinctively old-time, but has more of a melodic influence smacking both of Americana and cosmopolitan savvy. Kessinger was a self-taught fiddler, but often pointed out that he had heard some of the famous classical violinists of the day, such as Heifetz, Szigetti, Kreisler. "Some of their kind of bowing, why I could kind of add it in with the hillbilly," Kessinger reports, or perhaps is warning us, in the liner notes. The listener does not have to strain to hear this influence on the fiddler's melodic phrasing; it has a striking ring when he pulls off his melodic variations up the neck. The tunes comprise a mess of folk hash that inspired liner notes author Nancy Dols to come up with loads of background information, and describes in her final paragraph the songs' history as a trout nobody would throw it back, that's for sure.

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