The Wilburn Brothers

The Wilburn Brothers!

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The ten cuts on this budget album are drawn from the Wilburn Brothers' early King recordings. All of these songs (plus two others) are reissued on the King CD The Wonderful Wilburn Brothers, but the Design album has better sound quality in spite of the reprocessed stereo effect. Not surprisingly, the Wilburns' arrangements on these early cuts are more old-fashioned than on their later Decca hits, with mandolin and what would be a '30s-style brother duo approach if not for the pervasive steel guitar. The material ranges from novelties ("Goose Pimples") to covers of recent hits like Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Anticipation Blues" and Hank Williams' "Long Gone Lonesome Blues." "Anticipation Blues" sounds more like Emmett Miller than Tennessee Ernie, which again shows how much of a throwback the Wilburns were at this point. These aren't their best performances but, for the traditionally minded, may be preferable to their later Nashville sound-era hits.

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