It’s been over four years since bluegrass superstars, Dailey & Vincent have released a “regular” album. That doesn’t, however, mean they’ve been dormant. Since 2009’s Brothers From Different Mothers, their last bluegrass album for Rounder Records, they have released three very successful albums: an a cappella gospel project and two Cracker Barrel exclusives. Impressively, although only available at Cracker Barrel’s Old Country Stores, Dailey & Vincent’s last two albums topped the Billboard Bluegrass charts. If those efforts can hit #1 while only being available at one chain of stores, the potential for their newest album is scary!
With Brothers of the Highway, Dailey & Vincent return to the blueprint which took them to the top of the bluegrass world five years ago. Featuring a great mix of classic and contemporary material, Jamie and Darrin stay true to their roots, while still being innovative and fresh. One only needs to give this CD a total of seven minutes and eleven seconds to understand what drives them. They seamlessly transition from their Dailey-penned hit single, Steel Drivin’ Man, to the Bill Monroe classic, Close By, and the Louvin Brothers’ standard, When I Stop Dreaming.
Steel Drivin’ Man is quite the ride. One of bluegrass’ best young banjo pickers, Jessie Baker, and his powerful right hand drive the song right along. Fast is an understatement; this song is blazing! The arrangement fits the song well, with Jamie on the verses and the D&V quartet (Jamie Dailey, Darrin Vincent, Jeff Parker, Christian Davis) on the chorus. With inventive instrumental solos thrown in, Steel Drivin’ Man is two minutes and twenty-five seconds of bluegrass fun!
Next comes one from the Father of Bluegrass, Close By, the only new track on Rounder Records’ Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration. Its inclusion on Brothers of the Highway is more than welcome. Aubrey Haynie’s guest fiddles send chill bumps and Jamie showcases his love for down-the-middle traditional bluegrass.
When I Stop Dreaming is a country classic from The Louvin Brothers, and has become a fan favorite in Dailey & Vincent’s live shows. Jamie and Darrin don’t toss around the “brothers” term without just cause. Their “brother” duets are among the best, and rival that of any natural siblings. Darrin’s tender lead vocals and the hair-raising brother harmony show why this has been one of their most requested tunes over the past few years.
Farther in the album, we find Big River, one of the album’s best cuts. Although they share the same title, this is not Johnny Cash’s tale of “she loves you, big river, more than me.” Written by Cody Shuler, Big River sounds as if it could be from Randall Hylton. In bluegrass, broken hearts and flowing rivers go hand-in-hand, and Big River keeps that trend alive. This song is as lonesome as can be, and twin fiddles from B.J. and Molly Cherryholmes add to the sentiment. In addition to being a memorable song performed with strong instrumental work, the vocal arrangement presents lonesome lead singing, tight brother-style harmony, and closes with their world famous quartet; Big River showcases all that is Dailey & Vincent.
Other album highlights include the nostalgic Dailey original, Back To Jackson County; an overlooked Monroe tune, Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone; the powerful Gospel quartet number, Won’t It Be Wonderful There; and the title track, a memorable rendition of a George Strait hit with Jimmy Fortune.
Featuring such special guests as Bryan Sutton, Andy Leftwich, Scott Vestal, Jimmy Fortune, and more, Dailey & Vincent recruited an all-star cast to help with Brothers of the Highway.
“I’m excited about about our new record. I enjoyed picking and singing with all of our band members on this CD and watching them work their skills. Also, it was fun to write a couple of songs for this CD. I hope everyone enjoys Brothers of the Highway as much as we enjoyed recording it!”
Dailey & Vincent’s passion for traditional country (When I Stop Dreaming, Brothers of the Highway, Hills of Caroline, Where’ve You Been), classic bluegrass (Close By, Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone, Howdy Neighbor Howdy, Back To Hancock County), and fresh originals (Steel Drivin’ Man, Back To Jackson County, Big River) is what keeps them in demand with fans new and old.
Brothers of the Highway has something for everyone, and is one of Dailey & Vincent’s strongest albums to date.
photo by LuAnn Adams
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Category: Music Reviews
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