There is a very special place kept in Country music for the music of sibling groups, and in particular, the Brother Acts. Perhaps the best known in music generally are the Everly Brothers, but preceeding them were the Louvin Brothers,Ira and Charlie, who by general consent, were the finest of them all. The reason for the special place is quite simple.Siblings grow up together. If music is in the family, they sing and play together until their reactions, harmonies and timing are honed and instinctive. Raven have provided here 30 tracks, and it is a fine disc, not that there isn't competition for the best one disc overview, but this is the latest, and it is very good indeed. The tracks cannot but help falling into a greatest hits sequence, but do listen carefully and you will hear in some of the older tracks like Katy Dear and Knoxville Girl the old mountain music that derives from Anglo-Irish folk music export to the Appalachians and Ozarks. You will also hear in tracks like I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby, the duo singing parts and harmonising on the chorus, punctuating with their instrumental runs. Ira played the mandolin, Charlie the guitar. Whilst they played old songs from their childhood, their strength was their ability to write and perform original material like When I Stop Dreaming, that sounds timeless and enables them to sing impeccable harmony. Another important element of their music was sacred material, which reflects both the tastes of their rural audience and their own beliefs, although Ira probably stretched his a little towards the end. And end it did, in 1964 when Ira quit and within a year was dead in a car crash.Charlie survives, still records, but nothing ever will take the place of these great, great recordings. Treasure them, we won't see the like of the Louvins again. If you really get a taste, invest in the Bear Family Box, 9 CDs of the most wonderful music, with a book that tells the story and provides pictures of those magical times when talent took you to Nashville.
Not a stingy 10 tracks like some but 30.And all really good.Tracks include "Knoxville girl","Cash on the barrelhead","I wish it had been a dream" and charlies solo "I dont love you anymore".Plus a 12 page booklet with photos, notes, recording dates,places and artists.One of my favourites.
I've long been familiar with some of the Louvin Brothers songs through Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton etc. but have only just started listening to the brothers themselves. An excellent album with probably more recognisable songs that you might expect. It's not difficult to see where the Everly Brothers and others got their influence from. Highly recommended.
This album tells us what Country is all about, and as an added extra, is fabulous music. If you are a country fan you will love the playing and the harmonies on this album. For the historians you can hear some elements of where country came from with the mandolin and guitar playing. It takes us through what other Brothers copied in their hay day of the 60s and 70s, and then on to how it influenced the likes of Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss. A masterpiece of country music. It was listening to music like this in the 70's in Scotland that I developed a life long love of Country. You should buy it.