Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brothers from Different Mothers

2008's hottest new bluegrass act continues to shine in 2009 with the release of its second album, Brothers from Different Mothers. How hot were these guys last year? Just look at the list of IBMA trophies they took home:

Entertainer of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year (Jamie Dailey)
Album of the Year ("Dailey & Vincent")
Gospel Performance of the Year ("By the Mark")
Emerging Artist of the Year
Recorded Event of the Year (Everett Lilly project)

That is an armful of awards for a group of guys who have been performing together for only about eighteen months. Now, with the release of their second album, Dailey & Vincent prove that their 2008 success was no fluke.

Brothers from Different Mothers is all about traditional bluegrass music, a style lovingly embraced by Dailey & Vincent, and one at which they excel. The harmony on this album is simply spot on, whether it be in the form of duet, trio, or quartet, and there is not really a weak song in the twelve album cuts.

The guys cover all the bases.

There are Southern gospel songs, including one written by Jamie Dailey called "When I Reach That Home up There," perhaps one of the best bluegrass gospel songs I have ever heard - and a very special one, "On the Other Side," written by former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune. Background strings were added to this one at Darrin Vincent's suggestion and the strings set the perfect tone for this tearjerker of a feel good song (yes, there is such a thing).

The strength of Dailey & Vincent, of course, is their traditional sound and they prove here that they can sound as authentic and traditional on new material as they do on bluegrass classics. First-time listeners to "Winter's Come and Gone," the new song written by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will find it hard to believe that the song is not decades old. "Girl in the Valley," a Jamie Dailey song that Jamie also sings on Doyle Lawson's "You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper" album, further proves that bluegrass tradition is far from dead.

Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent are real fans of the Statler Brothers and two Statler songs, "There Is You" and "Years Ago" are included here. "Years Ago," in particular, reminded me how great the Statlers were and Dailey & Vincent have inspired me to go back into my LP collection to recapture some of that great music. I was also pleased by the appearance of Statler Brother Harold Reed in his Lester "Road Hog" Moran persona, the first time that Reed has ever recorded with anyone other than the Statler Brothers or Johnny Cash.

Dailey and Vincent used their road band on the album (something that is not always done in country music): Jeff Parker on Mandolin, Adam Haynes on fiddle, and young Joe Dean on banjo. In addition they received contributions from an all-star band of musicians: Ron Block on banjo, Bryan Sutton on guitar, Tim Crouch and Stuart Duncan on fiddle, and Andy Leftwich on mandolin.

Yes, I'm enthusiastic about this album, but more important to me is the way that Dailey & Vincent are keeping tradition alive in a world in which tradition seems to be less and less important to people. There is still hope in this world gone mad.


  1. Oh, bluegrass! Wonderful...

    I've got to listen to this because of the "Road Hog" connection!

    I'm a Statler Brothers fan, too. Jimmy Fortune really did the group a lot of good in the early to mid 80s. I liked him.

  2. Don't miss it, Annie. I know enough about your taste in music to be able to say that you will really like this one.

  3. Suzy, they nail "Years Ago" to a degree that you won't believe. And, if you like bluegrass, this is about as good as it gets today. I hope these guys work together for another 30 years - and they are plenty young to be able to do that. Good times ahead, if they do it.