What could be simpler than putting together two singers/musicians and a handful of good songs? In fact, Canyoneers will remind listeners of good live music, the kind made on the back porch, not the concert stage. Chris Brashear and Peter McLaughlin give the impression of a couple of friends who break out the guitar and fiddle after an evening meal just for the sheer joy of it. With old and new songs, easy-flowing instrumentals, and an eclectic mix of guitars, fiddles, and mandolins, Canyoneers offers a fresh approach to traditionally styled music. "Sad Parting, Sad Goodbye" is a Brashear original and serves as a good example of a writer crafting a contemporary song out of a timeworn theme. McLaughlin's "Lost Canyons" tells the tale of a westerner who attempted to conquer the landscape only to destroy the habitat of the original occupants. "Little Gibson March" is a breezy instrumental that gives both players a chance to show off their guitar picking, while "Brittlebush" features some nice fiddle work by Brashear. The album's greatest strength is the combined talents of Brashear and McLaughlin. Both are fine singers and songwriters, and their harmony -- sprinkled here and there -- brings a little something extra to these songs. Canyoneers will inspire acoustic music fans to pull up a straight-backed chair, relax, and enjoy the informal music of Chris Brashear and Peter McLaughlin.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.