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Dixie Bee-Liners

Dixie Bee-Liners – 2005 (Self-released)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Dixie Bee-Liners

Judging only from the name of the band and cover art on thisextended-play CD (8 tracks) that depicts a Kenworth barreling down some unseen highway, it might be easy to assume the Dixie Bee-Liners to be some sort of local honky-tonk band, specializing in a repertoire that's chock-full of Red Sovine and Dave Dudley covers. As it turns out, however, they're a pretty stylish and accomplished bluegrass quartet - based in New York City, of all places - with a knack for sounding both traditional and contemporary at the same time.

The name, in fact, hearkens to a state highway in Kentucky long known as the "Dixie Bee-Line," and the instrumental character of the band is of a sort that Bill Monroe would have appreciated. The picking and arrangements are excellent without trying to be overly flashy, but when the lineup includes veterans like guitarist Danny Weiss, that's not entirely unexpected.

At the heart of the band's sound, though, are the vocals of leaders Brandi Hart and Buddy Woodward, one or the other of whom (sometimes both) had a hand in writing all 8 songs. Hart in particular (herself a Kentucky native) has a voice that commands attention, especially on ethereal, traditional-sounding fare like "Lost In The Silence" and "Yellow-Haired Girl."