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Jim and Jesse McReynolds

Songs from the Homeplace – 1998 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by Jim and Jesse McReynolds

Nostalgia has long been a part of bluegrass. On their latest, Jim & Jesse McReynolds revive a dozen standards by such legends as The Carter Family and The Monroe Brothers resulting in traditional bluegrass at its best.

Grandpa Jones' "East Bound Freight Train" kicks the disc off in high fashion. Brothers McReynolds - Jim on guitar and vocals and Jesse on mandolin - do Grandpa's song great justice. The tune swings along with the precision and style of a grand old steam engine. Angel voiced Emmylou Harris joins on "Faded Love And Winter Roses" and Bill Carlisle's gut-wrenching tale of lost love "No Letter In The Mail Today," sway with the steadied patience and beauty of a rose in full bloom. On each, Harris' delicate mountain sweet harmony shines.

Seasoned and unique, Jim & Jesse haven't forgotten from whence they came. One listen to the blazing "Worried Man Blues" will tell you that. Just couple of poor mountain boys, the songs here gave the duo the impetus to become musicians. Now they're the legends. One listen to this, and you'll hear why.