These two giants of roots music have generated something quite unique out of their regular get-togethers. This album has the telepathic collaboration of the two guitarists as its foundation but with guest vocalists and members of the cast of the TV series Nashville for which Linden is the music director, it is much more of a communal effort than the duet album we might think we’re getting. This communal atmosphere is of course one reason Nashville is such a magnet for performers. We get under way with a quite different instrumental version of “Careless Love” with Colin on electric dobro and Luther on electric slide guitar plus bass & percussion. The tempo picks up dramatically with “Don’t Let Go”, an R&B hit for Roy Hamilton in 1958. Colin takes the lead vocal with Rachael Davis & Ruby Amanfu trading lines. With Colin’s instantly recognizable electric slide, you can check this one out early on YouTube. Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do’ features Ms. Davis on lead vocal with the two electric guitars, one of which uses the tremolo setting to emulate Jimmy’s harp. A more acoustic and more familiar version of “Careless Love” again has Ms. Davis on vocals and Luther on nylon string guitar. The backing band is called collectively The Tennessee Valentines and this song features Kevin McKendree on organ and Fred Kaplin on fiddle. Bryan Owings is at the drum kit and Dominic Davis plays bass. Attractive versions of country classics “Crazy Arms” and “For the Good Times” lead into a rock ‘n’ roll classic “Lover Come Back” sung by its writer, the legendary Billy Swan. Ms. Davis sings harmony and Kaplin plays accordion for a most delightful performance. Ruby Amanfu sings lead on the R&B hit for Chuck Willis in 1958, “What Am I Living For” – she has a remarkable voice, one I’ll surely keep track of. Colin solos most effectively on vocals for Bo Diddley’s “Dearest Darling” with just the two guitars this time, Colin on dobro. These are songs we all grew up with and that’s probably as good a definition of Americana as any. Sit back and enjoy them in these new settings as much as these players obviously did. The web site is www.stonyplainrecords.com. 

February 2019 - Michael Jerome Brown
Top Blues - February 2019