Dudley Connell

Another Saturday Night

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    5
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Rigsby and Connell have impeccable bluegrass pedigrees: Rigsby is a former member of the Lonesome River Band and Connell did time with Seldom Scene. Together, they bring the crisp, clean sound of those outfits into their own brand of bluegrass and country. This sophomore release from the duo breaks no new ground stylistically, but is a solid effort. The playing sparkles and the vocals are precise without sacrificing emotional punch. Tim O'Brien turns in some fine fiddle work. Randy Kohrs' work on various steel guitars just cries country. Missy Raines' acoustic bass adds some nice depth. Their cover of Bob Dylan's "Hollis Brown" has the stark darkness of a mountain ballad. They do an almost dead-on impression of the Everlys on "So Sad." There is little that is forward-looking or challenging here, either lyrically or musically, so the release will appeal to country and bluegrass traditionalists. They closest they come to anything controversial is their cover of Peter La Farge's "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," the story of the Pima Indian who participated in raising the American flag over Iwo Jima. The song tells of Hayes' misfortune upon returning home after the war and his tragic death from alcoholism. With guest Tom T. Hall's recitation and the high lonesome vocals, it teeters dangerously close to corny. The rest is just some good, sturdy bluegrass.

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