Having recorded and toured together since 1975, the North Carolina-based band The Crowe Brothers have released several projects in many band configurations, including albums with Raymond Fairchild and David McLaughlin. However, their latest effort, Bridging The Gap, which sits somewhere between traditional brother duets and the more contemporary styles of many current bluegrass groups, promises to be their best work to date. While including some updated versions of their previously recorded material, the Crowes also offer new selections which are likely to please traditional music lovers.
A single guitar, bass lines, and harmony vocals aren’t all these guys have to offer, though. Fresh off of their highly successful album Brothers-N-Harmony, which included the #1 Sirius/XM song Cindy Mae, the Crowe Brothers are back at it again with the help of several award winning musicians: Steve Sutton (banjo), Brian Blaylock (mandolin and lead guitar), Steve Thomas (fiddle and mandolin), Ashby Frank (mandolin), and the incomparable Randy Kohrs (dobro).
Bridging The Gap, an album dedicated to the memory of their mother, Margie Crowe, clearly shows the talents of brothers Josh and Wayne throughout the 13 track, thirty-nine minute compilation. From the rousing banjo-driven opening track He Could Pick the Hound (written about a banjo player’s talents) to their affectionate closing gospel selection, God Has Been So Good to Me, the set of tunes chosen for this album are rock solid. Other stand out numbers are the navigational number Eighteen Wheels, and their wonderfully reflective song If I Had My Life to Live Over, which speaks of fond childhood memories of mother and dad. Overall, their sound has a traditional feel as their music ranges from tender melodies to driving banjo tunes like I’m Going Back to Old Virginia as well as Wayward Heart, which features spot-on Monroe-style mandolin.
Besides their first-rate harmonies, this album showcases Josh’s songwriting abilities quite well. In fact, several of his pieces have become fan favorites for the Crowes. His songs Grandma’s Little Boardside Cabin and the popular number The Winds Are Blowing in Maggie Valley (which appears here as new version of an earlier #1 single on the Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 Song Chart) are on this record, alongside others like I Knew It Wasn’t You (The Telephone Song), the tale of a lonesome and stubborn man, which also came from Josh’s pen.
For more information regarding these Rural Rhythm Recording artists or to see where they’ll be appearing at a festival near you, visit their website at: www.crowebrothers.com.