THE SPINNEY BROTHERS, NO BORDERS
Mountain Fever Records
Bluegrass music has its many flavors, and groups like the Gibson Brothers have proven that folks from the North can make an impact on the genre. But while the Gibson Brothers are from upstate New York, the Spinney Brothers are from even farther up that way, hailing from the apple tree-laden Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Bill Monroe once told Jens Krüger of the Krüger Brothers to come up with his own music, because he wasn’t from Kentucky. That is the philosophy behind the title of the Spinney Brothers’ latest album called No Borders. Even though Allan and Rick Spinney grew up near the famous Cape Breton Celtic and old-time fiddle scene, their music is firmly in the traditional bluegrass camp.
The Spinney Brothers are made up of Allan Spinney on guitar and lead vocals, Rick Spinney on banjo, Gary Dalrymple on mandolin, and Daryl Hebb on bass. Ron Stewart not only works the boards on this recording, but he also provides all of the fiddle work, and Rob Ickes chips in on resonator guitar. Ralph Stanley II appropriately adds some lead vocals to the song about being born too late and missing out on the Stanley Brothers era with “I Wish That I Could Have Met Carter.” Other highlights include the Mark Brinkman-penned “Grandpa’s Way Of Life,” Tom T. and Dixie Hall’s “I Want My Dog Back,” and the fired-up Rick Spinney instrumental “Big Marshall.” These boys have been playing bluegrass for more than twenty years and the quality of the music shows it. (Mountain Fever Records, 1177 Alum Ridge Rd., Willis, VA 24380, www.mountainfever.com.)DH