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Dailey & Vincent

The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent – 2012 (Cracker Barrel)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Dailey & Vincent

It could be said that there are actually 2 gospel sides of Jamie Dailey and Darren Vincent presented on this 12-track collection. Having taken the bluegrass world by storm the last few years, it's not surprising that there's a healthy helping of hard-driving bluegrass gospel on the table, but like many raised with the music of Bill Monroe and his disciples, they're also steeped in the world of Southern gospel.

Vincent grew up on stage alongside his sister Rhonda as part of the family's Sally Mountain Gospel Show, while Dailey's schooling includes a lengthy apprenticeship with Doyle Lawson, the renowned master of both schools. The difference, in a few words? While the banjo is the signature of the bluegrass sound, Southern gospel is heavy on piano and drums.

Contrary to the widely-held perception that country gospel music of any sort is either fire-and-brimstone sermonizing or solemn hymnizing, there's actually quite a variety of tempos, moods and subject matter, as a quick look through the writer credits attests: Buck Owens (Eternal Vacation), Dolly Parton (Welcome Home) and Willie Nelson (Family Bible) to name a few. It's all well-arranged, and they're backed by a stellar cast that includes the likes of Bryan Sutton, Scott Vestal and Sharon White. Given Dailey's long history with Lawson, it's somewhat of a surprise that there's not an a cappella quartet on the disc, but that's a minor omission.

As the title of a previous album "Brothers From Different Mothers" suggests, their strength is the kind of close harmony that made the Louvins and McReynolds household names in country music, and Dailey remains among the best tenors on the scene. No matter your take on spirituality, this is good music that's easily enjoyed.