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Bluegrass Brothers


They're not actually brothers, but the chemistry between bluegrass guitarist Jamie Dailey and his confederate, the bassist Darrin Vincent, sure makes it sound like they share some musical DNA. Their sixth album for Rounder Records, Brothers Of The Highway, features a handful of covers penned by well-known country and bluegrass musicians, as well as two written by Dailey & Vincent, and the result is an exhibition of harmonic kinship. The vocal harmonies the two put together are reminiscent of pioneering bluegrass acts like The Louvin Brothers, while their frenetic pace of playing harkens back to legends of the genre such as Flatt & Scruggs.

Many of the cuts here faithfully adhere to the originals, including Porter Wagoner's "Howdy Neighbor Howdy," yet others provide a refreshingly new take, such as the title track, written by George Strait. Meanwhile, "Back To Jackson County," an original idyll that chronicles Dailey's boyhood home of Tennessee, captures the simplicity and community that marks many towns of the South.

Similarly, the album opens with a blistering take on "Steel Drivin' Man," that standard paean to the men who built the U.S. railroads, and right away Dailey & Vincent place the listener in the heartland of the country. In fact, the duo are currently on a breakneck tour of many of the states that figure prominently in railroad construction history, including South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia.