The News and Observer - CD review: Gibsons’ bluegrass duets shine on ‘Brotherhood’

MARCH 28, 2015 11:00 AM - Eric and Leigh Gibson, twice voted bluegrass music’s top entertainer and vocal group, carry the tradition of brother duets forward on ‘Brotherhood,’ their debut CD. JIM MCGUIRE Brother duets have been a staple of country music since the early days of commercial recordings. Genetically sympathetic voices resulting in naturally close harmonies have delighted fans of legendary acts such as the Monroe Brothers, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, and the Everly Brothers, whose Kentucky country roots laid the groundwork for their rock-and-roll crooning.

Eric and Leigh Gibson carry the tradition forward with “Brotherhood,” their debut CD on Rounder Records.

Twice voted bluegrass music’s top entertainer and vocal group, the Gibson Brothers cover 15 classic and less common brother duets.

Backed by their excellent band, the siblings draw from the repertoires of Tar Heel natives Bill and Earl Bolick (the Blue Sky Boys) for “The Sweetest Gift,” and Wilkes County’s Church Brothers for “An Angel with Blue Eyes.”

They turn to bluegrass with the Osborne Brothers’ “Each Season Changes You,” the Stanley Brothers’ “How Mountain Girls Can Love,” and Jim & Jesse’s “Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes.” Tompall and the Glaser Brothers offer a country turn with their early 1980s hit, “It’ll Be Her.”

As they open and close with the Everly Brothers (“Bye Bye Love,” “Crying in the Rain”), the Gibsons remind us that the brother duet style is as vital and enjoyable today as at any time in the history of American popular music.

Correspondent Jack Bernhardt

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