The Louvin Brothers

Sing the Great Roy Acuff Songs

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One of the many "theme" albums the Louvin Brothers released during their tenure at Capitol Records (which was assembled from older recordings by the label two years after Ira Louvin's death), The Louvin Brothers Sing the Great Roy Acuff Songs finds Charlie and Ira interpreting 12 songs made famous by another one of country music's staunch traditionalists, Roy Acuff. Acuff's tunes prove to be a good match for the Louvins, especially on inspirational numbers such as "Wreck on the Highway" and "The Great Speckled Bird" and high-lonesome weepers like "Not a Word From Home" and "Branded Wherever I Go"; their clear, clean harmonies are superb as always and serve the songs well, while Ira's mandolin work is gutsy and strong. While the vintage early-'60s production is a bit too broad and echo-laden by contemporary standards (and isn't as flattering as the tighter mono recordings of their early sides), the arrangements are admirably spare, and the best of these tracks sound as honest and unaffected as the Louvin Brothers' finest work. The Louvin Brothers Sing the Great Roy Acuff Songs isn't a masterpiece along the lines of Tragic Songs of Life or Satan Is Real, but anyone in love with their glorious harmonies and emotional performing style will find this an enjoyable and rewarding listen.

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