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Peasall Sisters

Home To You – 2005 (Dualtone)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

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CDs by Peasall Sisters

The Peasalls burst onto the roots music scene as the voices behind George Clooney's fictional daughters in the film "O Brother Where Art Thou?" Their 2002 CD debut combined Carter Family classics with Christian Contemporary numbers that framed their sisterly harmonies with a surprising dollop of showbiz savvy. The subsequent three years on the festival and concert circuits has refined both the harmonizing and the presentation, resulting in a CD that's a big step forward.

Three years along, the sisters have traded the schmaltzy CCM tunes for songs of faith and praise that better leverage their church harmonies. At times they are as tight as The Andrews Sisters, such as the three-part singing on "Freight Train Blues," but more often they simply raise goose bumps, such as on the a cappella "Where No One Stand Alone," the Carter classic, "I Never Will Marry," and the traditional "Fair and Tender Ladies." The latter pair's lyrics find surprising resonance with such young voices, casting them back to a time when all three of these teenage girls might already be married off.

Sarah Peasall's trio of originals, including the title track, show a growing lyrical talent that complements the songs assembled from traditional and contemporary catalogs. John Carter Cash's production is spot-on, with rich acoustic picking from Randy Scruggs augmented by mandolin, fiddle, stand-up bass and only the lightest touches of drums. While their debut sparkled, their sophomore effort is a revelation.