CORRINA ROSE LOGSTON AND JEREMY STEPHENS
No Label, No Number
Recordings like this remind us that these old songs still have power to both entertain and move the listener. The old brother-duet style, focused largely on sentimental or religious tunes, may be somewhat dated by contemporary standards, but it’s still hard to resist, particularly when presented by performers so deeply immersed in those older styles.
In this case that would be the talented husband-and-wife pairing of Corrina Rose Logston and Jeremy Stephens. Both are young/old hands at this type of material with deep pedigrees that belie their age. Logston plays the guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. Stephens plays the guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Both of them sing, usually as a duo, although a solo turns up here and there.
Anyone familiar with the older duet style can anticipate that there’s not much here in the barnburner class. With the exception of some of the Bill and Charlie Monroe sides of the ’30s, that was not a huge part of the style of that time. So about as rollicking as it gets here are the two fiddle and banjo instrumentals, “Round Town Gals” and “Arkansas Traveler,” both of which are models of clarity and melody. The opening gospel tune “I’ll Shout And Shine” can also be put in that category and, to a lesser extent, Logston’s version of “Matterhorn,” underscored with some very nice cross-picked mandolin.
There’s a languid, bluesy, fingerpicked duet on Dave Evans’ “Highway 52,” followed by the 3/4-time gospel of “The Sons And Daughters Of God” and an all-too-brief country tale of caution, “Don’t Trade.” That, along with the Anglin’s “Just A Friend” and Odell McLeod’s “Be On Time,” are album standouts. Of course, citing those standouts is all relative on an album full of great songs done in fine fashion. (Logston and Stephens, P.O. Box 261, Whites Creek, TN 37189, www.corrinacorrina.com.)BW