Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones
Guitar/mandolin and vocal duets of this quality don't come around every day. This project by Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein recalls the Skaggs and Rice Sugar Hill release from 2000, "The Essential Old Time Country Duets." However, while bluegrass influenced, this CD has more of a singer/songwriter feel. Klein, former lead singer for the Seldom Scene and the short-lived Chesapeake, delivers with the range and technical vocal skill of an opera singer and the emotional honesty of a bluegrasser, and Gaudreau carries the harmony lines of a part singer par excellance.
Gaudreau honed his mandolin chops with everyone from the Seldom Scene to Tony Rice. Years of "have mandolin, will travel" have rendered a distinctive style unique to Gaudreau. His syncopated hesitations set the right mood without fail and are worthy of repeated play. Klein's Doc-ish flatpicking is a perfect compliment to Gaudreau's mandolin.
The material varies from modern bluegrass instrumentals and vocal songs to traditional flatpick numbers and Jimmie Rodgers ("Any Old Time") tunes. The old ones are recorded much as one would expect the original artists would enjoy if they were still living today.