CD review: ‘Brothers of the Highway’

June 29, 2013 

  • Bluegrass Dailey and Vincent Brothers of the Highway

After coming of age in Doyle Lawson’s Quicksilver and Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder, Jamie Dailey and Darren Vincent took the bluegrass world by storm with their self-titled debut in 2008. The International Bluegrass Music Association showered the duo with an unprecedented seven awards, including top entertainer, top vocal group and album of the year.

With that and their subsequent recordings, Dailey and Vincent have made their mark with ear-catching songs, distinctive vocals with captivating harmonies, and instrumental brilliance second to none. With their sixth album, “Brothers of the Highway,” the pair continues to impress with a clever mix of traditional and contemporary songs.

Dailey and Vincent lead with a full head of steam on the Dailey-penned “Steel Drivin’ Man,” already a bluegrass chart-topper. Nodding to their roots, they follow with Bill Monroe’s “Close By” and showcase their trademark harmony on the Louvin Brothers’ heartbreak classic, “When I Stop Dreaming.”

Masterfully melding songs from yesterday and today, the duo draws upon George Strait (“Brothers of the Highway”), Wilma Lee Cooper (“Tomorrow I’ll be Gone”), Vince Gill (“Hills of Caroline”), Porter Wagoner (“Howdy Neighbor Howdy”) and others. No Dailey and Vincent album is complete without gospel, and the boys deliver with the quartet number, “Won’t It Be Wonderful.”

Kathy Mattea’s 1989 hit “Where’ve You Been” is the surprise closer to this mature leap forward by one of bluegrass music’s most talented and admired combos.

Correspondent Jack Bernhardt

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