Having spent more than 50 years in the music business, brothers Jim and Jesse McReynolds are among the longest-running and most enduring acts in any branch of country music. Although they made a stab at mainstream country during the Elvis years, their legacy of literally dozens of classic albums over the last half-century marks them as legends in the world of bluegrass. Nevertheless, they’re still at it, not resting on their laurels, still making some of the best bluegrass around. On Songs From The Homeplace, they’ve gathered a dozen of the songs they’ve treasured the most throughout their career, songs they learned at home growing up in a musical family in southwest Virginia, as well as songs they learned directly from some of the pioneer performers of country music – the Carter Family, Cliff Carlisle, Grandpa Jones and others. Although this CD does not technically feature their longtime band, the Virginia Boys, their fans should be pleased to learn that the McReynolds brothers reunite here with Allen “Smiley” Shelton, a mainstay in the Virginia Boys on banjo and Dobro for many years. Carl Jackson, who produced the album, sits in on guitar and fiddle, and an added bonus is a guest appearance by Emmylou Harris on two cuts, “Faded Love And Winter Roses” and “No Letter In The Mail Today”. With twelve classic country songs done with trademark Jim and Jesse harmony, it’s no exaggeration to say there’s not a weak cut on the CD. Jackson deserves special mention for this — Songs From The Homeplace is among the best-produced bluegrass albums of the nineties. ~ John Lupton
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