Darin & Brooke Aldridge
Darin & Brooke Aldridge

Mountain Home 12592

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The CD cover for the new duo album from Darin and Brooke Aldridge looks like a canned and sentimental engagement photo. That can be overlooked as they are, in fact, young and recently wedded. Alas, much of the material also struck me as overly sentimental. This is bluegrass for the family values set—it’s chockfull of bluegrass gospel, gooey love songs, evocations of rural splendor, and similar hearts-and-flowers themes. Brooke Aldridge has the makings of a first-class voice, when it matures and gets some bottom to it. Darin’s voice is less interesting as a lead vocal, though he’s quite good at harmony and plays pretty good guitar. I also enjoyed some of the classy instrumental breakouts from fiddler Tim Crouch, dobro player Rob Ickes, and banjo picker Chris Bryant. You should probably check out the Aldridges yourself as I’m on record with a profound preference for artists who explode rather than pay homage to old-style bluegrass. Maybe I’m just not feeling very optimistic these days, but this release was just too sunny, wholesome, and predictable for my taste. I actually got the blues waiting to hear some.

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