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Amber Digby and Justin Trevino

Keeping Up Appearances – 2010 (Hearts of Texas)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Amber Digby and Justin Trevino

Country traditionalists and label mates Justin Trevino and Amber Digby team up here for what was once a prominent feature of the country music landscape, the duet album. The album features a cross-section of songs drawn from duet history, done in no-frills, hard-country style (with one change-up, the wistful country-pop sounds of Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You).

Trevino and Digby combine their powerful voices to beautiful effect and, swathed in reams of fiddle and steel, wind and intertwine their way through a fine set of hard shuffles and sad slow ones. While a few of the songs - After the Fire Is Gone and Right Combination for example - are familiar enough to be called standards of the genre, for the most part Trevino and Digby stay away from the well-trodden for lesser-known fare like Which One Is to Blame (an early hit for the Wilburn Brothers) and the title track (a minor '70s hit for Jerry Lane and Lynn Anderson).

The result is an engaging return to this corner of country music's past; next time (if there is a next time), here's hoping they try their hand at adding to that tradition by combining the classic songs they survey with a few that we haven't heard before.