Two obscure country albums from 1972 by the brothers
The first album here, Stories we could tell, is a country-rock album. It features covers of All we really want to do (Delaney and Bonnie), Breakdown" (Kris Kristofferson), Mandolin wind (Rod Stewart), The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" (Jesse Winchester) and the title track (John Sebastian), a couple of Everly originals (Green river, I'm tired of singing my song in Las Vegas) and a trio of songs written by Dennis Linde, who has written more famous songs than these, but I particularly like Christmas Eve can kill you.
The Everly brothers never strayed very far from their country roots, even during their hit-making days, but the second album here is very clearly traditional country. Most of the songs are covers of songs made famous by others, like Husbands and wives (Roger Miller), Ladies love outlaws (Waylon Jennings), Not fade away (Buddy Holly), Paradise (John Prine), Good hearted woman (Waylon an Willie) and Rocky top (Lynn Anderson). Don and Phil sing the songs as they were written, so there are no real surprise arrangements, although Rocky top is taken at a slower tempo than most other singers do it..
The other songs are generally less well known, including Somebody nobody knows, a Kris Kristofferson song. It's good to see that they chose to record this rather than yet another version of one of his standards.
This could hardly be described as essential, but will appeal to anybody who likes the Everly brothers and who wants to seek out their more obscure music. After these two albums, Don and Phil split up. In 1973, Phil began his solo career with the first recording of The air that I breathe, but the song made no impact until 1974, when a cover by the Hollies became a huge international hit. Don pursued a country career but his original 1977 recording of Brother jukebox was also unsuccessful. A 1990 cover by Mark Chesnutt became a #1 country hit. The brothers eventually re-united.