There’s a rich tradition of brother acts in both country and bluegrass music. From the Monroe Brothers to the Stanleys to the Louvin Brothers, it seems there’s something special in sibling harmonies, an intuitive quality that transcends mere affinity.
Darrin Vincent and Jamie Daley were born far apart – the former in Missouri, the latter in Tennessee – yet one listen to the heavenly harmonies on their second disc, Brothers From Different Mothers, may indeed have you believing they share a common genetic lineage.
Both men come bring solid bluegrass pedigrees to the table. Dailey spent several years with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, while Vincent, brother of reigning bluegrass queen Rhonda, toured with Ricky Skaggs as a member of Kentucky Thunder. Their eponymous debut, released in 2008, was a smashing success, yielding several number one hits and reaping numerous awards.
For their sophomore release the brothers-in-spirit tear through an all-acoustic set that sounds resolutely traditional, though the playlist does include tunes from Dailey and other current songwriters. But as contemporary as some of the compositions might be, both sentiment and delivery are rooted in simpler times. There’s a great deal of faith here – seemingly a requisite in the world of bluegrass – but non-believers needn’t turn away. The message is never heavy-handed, and the music is so joyous it’s easy to simply concentrate on the sheer exuberance these gentlemen bring to every song. Elsewhere there’s homespun wisdom, selfless love, and lots of heartbreak – standard themes, though rarely are they delivered with such infectious energy and enthusiasm.
Both Dailey (guitar) and Vincent (bass, arch top, and mandolin) are accomplished instrumentalists, and they’re supported here by a veritable who’s who of modern bluegrass, with performances top-notch throughout. Original Statler Brother Harold Reid adds an inimitable touch to blazing opener “Head Hung Down,” and the favor’s returned with a bluegrass re-working of the Statler’s old hit, “Years Ago,” with a faithful recreation of their unmistakable harmonizing.
Dailey and Vincent obviously bring a great love of the genre’s history to the table, but theirs isn’t a preservationist approach. Even the songs of sadness are full of life, and the irrepressible joy these brothers from different mothers find in every note is a palpable presence throughout. And the simple beauty of skillfully blended voices never gets old … this is absolutely delightful stuff, highly recommended!