Bridging the Gap

Crowe Brothers

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Bridging the Gap Review

by j. poet

The Crowe Brothers -- Josh on vocals and guitar, Wayne on vocals and standup bass -- borrow part of their sound from the chilling harmony work of the Louvins, but they put their own stamp on the bluegrass and traditional country tunes that are their stock in trade. A superb complement of seasoned professionals allows the Crowes to let loose and dig deep to produce another collection full of heart and soul. Standouts this time out include "Snow Woman," a song that could sound pathetic if the vocal were less wrenching. When they sing that the Snow Woman's "kiss was warmer than yours ever was," it brings you up short. "Eighteen Wheels" is a trucking song that sings the praises of the open road, while "I Knew It Wasn't You (The Telephone Song)" proves that Josh Crowe's songwriting chops are in good order. It's a traditional brokenhearted love song that refers to the ringing of an actual (not cell) telephone, a welcome sound to all the Luddites in the audience. The Brothers and company show off their picking chops on "He Could Pick the Hound," featuring Steve Sutton on banjo and Steve Thomas on fiddle, and "Southern Moon," with its chilling harmonies and more splendid banjo from Sutton. They show off their sanctified side on "God Has Been So Good to Me" and "Trusting in My Lord," featuring the support of Randy Kohrs' Dobro. The Crowes also reprise a few of their golden oldies. "Grandma's Little Boardside Cabin," from 1999's Regenesis, features Sutton's banjo and Kohrs' Dobro; the blazing "I'm Going Back to Old Virginia," from 1994's Going Back album by Crowe & McLaughlin, has more dazzling banjo work from Sutton and a smoking mandolin solo by Brian Blaylock; and "The Winds Are Blowing in Maggie Valley" shows the timeless quality of their number one bluegrass hit from the late '80s.

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