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Jim & Jesse
Songs from the Homeplace,  Pinecastle Records CD PRC 1082,

 Bluegrass brothers from forever

With  Songs from the Homeplace, Jim & Jesse (who have been performing since 1941) serve to keep the bluegrass tradition of passing songs from generation to generation alive. "On this CD," they note, "we have recorded some of the songs that we learned at an early age." By keeping another welcome tradition alive (that of brotherly harmonies) these two veterans have given us an inspired, well-sung mountain music treat.

The most featured songwriter on this collection is A. P. Carter, who gave the Carter Family so many memorable songs to sing. If everybody else making music today grew up singing such classics as "Keep on the Sunny Side of Life," maybe there wouldn’t be so much utter crap to sort through at the record store. (If the Carter family invented country music, as the legend goes, I’ll bet they’d cover their ears in shame if they ever had a chance to see just what’s become of country music today. But that’s another subject altogether). A song such as "Dreaming of a Little Cabin" reveals how this still fine sounding duo can’t forget its roots. And these roots aren’t only musical, they’re family-based as well. For them, you just can’t separate music from family. They’re all a part of the same pie. And it’s a delicious one, at that.

This album won’t jump out of your speakers at you and scream the undying value of bluegrass music. What it will do is make you feel just a little more connected to the circle of American musical history, which remains unbroken, though tested by time.– Dan MacIntosh

 Glenn Brooks says... This is indeed a fine album, although I detect a touch of pop-style "sweetening" applied by the recording engineer. Maybe Jim & Jesse’s voices need a little help at this stage of their illustrious carrer?

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.