Jim & Jesse

Our Kind of Country

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Jim & Jesse McReynolds have always had their own take on the bluegrass tradition. Like their contemporaries the Osborne Brothers, they've always pushed the envelope of the mainstream while never completely losing their aura of old-time traditionalism. This album will change all that. Teaming up with the stage band from the Grand Ole Opry, the McReynolds brothers deliver a program of classic honky tonk country music, complete with steel guitar and Telecaster accompaniment. (Interestingly, the band uses an upright instead of an electric bass -- an ironic twist, given that Jim & Jesse use an electric instrument in their bluegrass ensemble.) The songs are mostly well selected -- there are a couple of great tunes from the Buck Owens catalog ("Foolin' Around," "Til These Dreams Come True"), a Mel Tillis chestnut ("Heart Over Mind"), and others from Roger Miller and Don Gibson, not to mention a few McReynolds originals played in that 1950s country-shuffle style. There's only one misstep (the inexcusably smarmy "Lovin' Machine"); for the most part, this is a completely charming album that may leave hardcore bluegrass fans cold but will appeal greatly to fans of pre-'70s country.

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