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Darin and Brooke Aldridge

Live at Red, White and Bluegrass

(Mountain Home Music; US: 18 Dec 2012; UK: 18 Dec 2012)

Fiery live set of bluegtass tunes

Darin and Brooke Aldridge play bluegrass, and they play it well. On this record, they play it live, which is just fine, as long as they’re playing. When they’re not playing, which is to say when they’re between songs, one of them is talking, and it’s usually Brooke, and it’s usually sort of cringe-inducing.


I’m sure it was sweet to sit and hear the first time through, but for listeners who want to play the album over and over, these litle interruptions are distracting at best. Which is a shame, because the record is filled with hot tunes played well: instrumental rave-ups like “Foggy Mountain Rock”, sweetly sentimental tunes like “Corn” and “Lonely Ends Where Love Begins”, devotionals like “He’s Already There”, and fun covers like Shania Twain’s “No One Needs to Know” and a scorching version of Neil Young’s “Powderfinger” (yay!). The musicianship is impeccable, the harmonies are spot-on, and Brooke’s voice carries that wide-open twang that hits the sweet spot between down home and front-porch raw. It’s a good record, in other words. It truly is.


But, guys—all that chit-chat in between songs? Edit that out next time, would ya?

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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