The Brothers hail from Virginia and play a solid traditional style of bluegrass. The inclusion of original material here adds interest to the program. Their vocals reflect the life they sing about, and the lonesome mountain sound predominates. As this band grows, they continue to absorb influences from the strong body of traditional bluegrass that they are definitely a part of today. They, in turn, use this to refine their sound.
Brandon Farley drives the sound with his banjo, adding tasteful backup and just the right amount of punch. Billy Hurt, Jr., plays some fine fiddle with sweet-moving double-stops and sharp leads. Victor Dowdy plays bass and sings with his two sons, Donald on mandolin and Steve on guitar. They all are accomplished musicians who know the genre and feel their music deeply.
The material is all robust with five songs coming from Steve or Victor Dowdy, one each from Jimmy Martin (“Home Run Man”), Reno & Smiley (“Wall Around Your Heart”), and Vern Gosdin (“If Your [sic] Going To Do Me Wrong, Do Me Right”). Two tracks are from the pen of Mike Dillard, one of which is the heart wrenching “Little Jenny.”
This group is getting better with each release and growing to be a presence on the current bluegrass scene. We can look for more good things to come from this band. (Bluegrass Brothers, 3441 Rusty Road, Salem, VA 24153, www.thebluegrassbrothers.com.) RCB