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Jim and Jesse McReynolds

Our Kind of Country – 2001 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Brad San Martin

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CDs by Jim and Jesse McReynolds

From their beginnings over 40 years ago, bluegrass brother duo Jim & Jesse have always been willing to push the boundaries of their music - much to the fascination (and sometimes dismay) of country fans. From their early experiments with rhythm sections and repertoire (moving from bluegrass to country to Chuck Berry) to this pair of ace new releases, the McReynolds boys never fail to spin new cloth from old strands.

"Our Kind of Country," a collection of classic country tunes performed with full-on fiddle/steel/tele backing is a delight. Their sibling harmonies resonate beautifully, even removed from their more expected bluegrass trappings. Jesse McReynolds' rich lead singing settles in with brother Jim's keening tenor, beautifully pulling new heartache from such well-worn classics as "Heartaches by the Numbers" and "Under Your Spell Again." The vocals of Jesse's grandson Luke McKnight are surprisingly confident and soulful. While the production may be a shade too antiseptic, the band of Opry regulars that provide musical backing more than make up for that with their good taste and empathy.