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The Woodys (Rounder, 1998)

The Woodys

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

In the liner notes to the Woodys' debut album, producer Brian Ahern says he was looking for a "male-female Everly-style duo for the 90's." In Michael and Dyann Woody, he seems to have succeeded. Although there are a couple of weak tunes, sweet harmonies and brilliant musicianship combine for an impressive record. Session luminaries Albert Lee and Al Perkins lead the way musically, and Emmylou Harris lends vocal support on Gretchen Peters' excellent "High Lonesome."

Other standout include Buddy and Julie Miller's "I Don't Mean Maybe," and "Second Wind," co-written by Michael with Chris Hillman. Unfortunately, the Hot Country oriented "Mama and Them" (co-written by David Lee Murphy) and the cliched "Closer to the Flame" detract a little from the overall strength. The inclusion of the Everly hit "Like Strangers" seems a bit calculated, but the Woodys pull it off.

On the whole, Ahern achieved his goal, as the Woodys settle comfortably into the role in which they were cast.

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