What the Brothers Sang
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What The Brothers Sang
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2013 collaboration. As children, the music of the Everly Brothers touched Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie Billy; it touches Dawn's children and the little "prince" within Bonnie today, and makes them dance and sing. What the Brothers Sang is no mere gesture of nostalgia; these new versions rethink the Everly Brothers for the audience of listeners today, people who naturally might have no knowledge or experience with those songs. Why should they? It's not everyone who trawls through the dust of the past for their pleasures. Most of US live today and so, for today, these songs are made.
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I do have some reservations. Possibly the best-known song here is Devoted To You and it doesn't quite ring with the poignancy of the original and sounds a little like an exercise in harmony rather than a heartfelt love song. I felt this in a couple of places, and some songs - Empty Boxes, for example - just didn't really work for me. There is a vein of slow sentimentality which can get a bit wearing for the whole album, so their terrific version of Somebody Help Me (the Spencer Davis song) stands out as a rocking gem and I could have done with a dose of something with the more up-tempo drive of Wake Up Little Susie or the wit of Bird Dog, say.
I don't want to be too critical because I do like the album in spite of its weaknesses. It is a good collection of songs from two excellent musicians, most of which are very well sung and arranged. I love the Everlys (and am proud to say that I have heard them live) and this is a worthy tribute. It's not a classic, but it's well worth getting.