Following up a successful debut project is always tricky, with expectations from fan, media and industry all setting a high bar. After a mega-hit release like the self-titled Dailey & Vincent album of 2008, even greater scrutiny is likely. That CD led to universal critical acclaim, widespread radio play, and a grand total of 7 trophies at the 2008 International Bluegrass Music Awards.
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent are not only superb singers, band leaders and producers – they are also serious students of the music business, having learned from some of the best our industry has to offer. Jamie spent 9 years with Doyle Lawson, eventually serving as his right hand man, while Darrin worked for ten years with Ricky Skaggs, not to mention being the brother of bluegrass superstar Rhonda Vincent.
So it’s no surprise to find this sophomore effort every bit the equal to its predecessor, with several of the more popular songs from the first finding a follow-up of sorts on the second. The song choices are all first rate, and the album has a more relaxed feel, as you would expect from a band that has put some miles on the road together before recording.
The singing is simply superb throughout, and their hot young pickers, Joe Dean on banjo and Adam Haynes on fiddle, really shine this time out. Dean played on the first album, but came in to recut existing banjo tracks. Here he shows a confidence and authority that is quite striking for such a young man.
The vocal trios and quartets are the band’s true strength, impeccably arranged and flawlessly performed. It doesn’t get much better than this.
We asked Jamie and Darrin to suggest a couple of songs from Brothers From Different Mothers which we could preview here, and they also shared some stories about how the songs ended up on the CD.
Head Hung Down – Listen now: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/head_hung_down.mp3]
“We were just about done recording the album,” said Jamie, “and we still needed a real barn burner – something traditional – for the lead track. I called Robert Gateley, a terrific writer and friend of mine, and he said he’d just finished something that might work. We listened to it and loved it because it’s just such a fun song. So we arranged and recorded it that day. Then we started thinking it might be fun to have someone do the voice of the judge in the song. Everyone knows how much we love the Statler Brothers, and we thought of Harold Reid.”
“So we contacted him and asked if he’d do it,” Darrin continued, “and he was kind enough to say ‘yes.’ I took the equipment and we recorded it in the living room of his house last summer. He brought back his ‘Roadhog’ alter ego, and it’s just great. Then we realized that Harold and the Statlers had never recorded as guests on other people’s records, except for Johnny Cash, so we’re really honored that he’d do it.”
O Ye Must Be Born Again – Listen now: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/born_again.mp3]
“We include gospel music on our albums and in our shows, because it’s important for us to sing about what we believe,” Jamie says. “This was one of the first songs we selected for this album, because it’s a great uptempo, gospel bluegrass number.”
“I had originally heard it on a CD by the Far City Boys,” adds Darrin, “and I remembered it when we were considering songs for this CD.”
The boys will be on WSM tonight (3/30) with Eddie Stubbs, starting at 9:00 p.m. (EDT), and you can catch that live at www.wsmonline.com.
Look for the CD on Tuesday wherever bluegrass music is sold.