Jim & Jesse

Honor the King of Country Music, Roy Acuff

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This stunner of an album -- a pleasure just to hear -- features the pair in excellent voice, achieving an extraordinary elegance in their singing and playing. Recorded after Acuff's death in 1992, the music naturally has a high degree of reverence, but it's never dull or predictable. The harmony singing is, of course, the main appeal of Jim & Jesse's work, but their instrumental backing also honors the man and his songs; in addition to the duo's own guitar and mandolin, their backup musicians include Pete Kirby on dobro, Raymond McLain on banjo, and Dan Kelly on fiddle, all at the top of their form. The songs include "Wabash Cannonball," "The Precious Jewel," "Write Me Sweetheart," "That Glory Bound Train," "Night Train to Memphis," "Great Speckled Bird," and "Roll On Buddy," all sung about as well as they're likely ever to be.