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|Chris Brashear||Primary Artist, Bass, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals|
|Peter McLaughlin||Guitar, Vocals|
|Peter McLaughlin||Composer, Producer|
|Ron Thomason||Liner Notes|
|Chris Brashear||Composer, Producer|
Posted October 1, 2010
Chris Brashear and Peter McLaughlin have worked together for over a decade. Some may recall their Tucson-based Frog Mountain Trio, formed in 1992. At present, both musicians also play in The Perfect Strangers, with Jody Stecher, Bob Black and Forrest Rose. On this project, McLaughlin plays guitar, and Brashear plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin (and even bass on one track, "Lost Canyons"). Many of the duets they sing are ballads, where the stories are the central items of importance. Brashear does a nice job of turning real events into quality songs. For example, , like "Midwestern Fear," is about the Missouri tornado he experienced in the sixth grade. Chris wrote the opener ("Sad Parting, Sad Goodbye") about his daughter, Hollis. At first, I thought that it was about an emigrant girl heading to America. However, upon further investigation, I discovered that Brashear and his daughter had gone to Italy for several years in the mid- to late-90s. The teacher and students at her school had grown so fond of Brashear's daughter that they all turned out to say a "Sad Goodbye-- a little sadder than the rest " on the day she had to leave to return to America. Combine simple melodies with some parallel vocal harmony and flatpicked guitar fills, and you'll be instantly drawn into the unfolding drama. Tune in and pay attention to the lyrics on a project like this. It's nice to see them included in a 12-page booklet with this CD. You hear tales about a breed of fearless river rats, a cheating wife who gets murdered, a warning to be fair and honest, and a sad country woman during the Depression. An environmental message permeates McLaughlin's "Lost Canyons," about the damming of the Colorado River and creation of Lake Powell. For instrumental respite, there are Brasher's "Little Gibson March," McLaughlin's "Brittlebush," and the traditional "McMichen's Reel." I was happy to see these musical "brothers" include a couple numbers from the repertoire of the Delmores -- "Remember I Feel Lonesome Too," and "Someday You'll Pay." The CD closes with a western gospel number, "Roundup Time in Heaven." Sparsely adorned, this album provides a wonderful jaunt through the West, with stories that hold a listener's attention until the last verses are sung. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.