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Eric Brace & Peter Cooper

You Don't Have to Like Them Both – 2008 (Red Beet)

Reviewed by Linda Dailey Paulson

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CDs by Eric Brace & Peter Cooper

Duets are fun to sing when the chemistry's right, and when listening, if the voices intertwine effortlessly, the alchemy is a wonderment. Eric Brace and Peter Cooper each have distinctive musical voices that meld together delightfully throughout.

The pair have made some masterful selections, both in their cover choices from the likes of Jim Lauderdale - whose Lucky Bones is the good kind of infectious - and Kris Kristofferson as well as in their musical collaborators. These include Lloyd Green, who appeared on Cooper's debut, Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks and Brace's band Last Train Home), and Tim O'Brien, who appears on four tracks.

This originals I Know a Bird from Brace is a moody, haunting tune made more evocative by O'Brien's banjo. Cooper's Denali, Not McKinley is a history lesson disguised as good fun.

Although these guys have given you the option of not liking them both, how can you help but not?