‘Live From Red, White and Bluegrass’

By Derek Halsey (reporter@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Dec. 26, 2012 | Modified: Dec. 26, 2012
‘Live From Red, White and Bluegrass’

Darin and Brooke Aldridge have just released their latest album, “Live At Red, White and Bluegrass,” which refers to the name of the festival where this concert recording was captured this past July.

The duo and band have had a good year, with an important award nomination under their belt, and they are doing it with High Country blood in the mix.

While Darin Aldridge grew up in Cherryville, N.C., his wife and singing partner, Brooke, is from Avery County. After marrying in 2008, the husband and wife team put a solid band together and began to record and tour. Success came quick, as their first album saw a lot of bluegrass radio time. And, this past September, the Darin and Brooke Aldridge Band was nominated for an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Emerging Artist of the Year award.

Brooke Aldridge didn’t sing steadily until late in her teen years. Then, she reached the regionals of the TV talent show, “Nashville Star,” in 2004 and, by 2007, had released a solo album, “I’ll Go with You,” on the Pinecastle Records label.

Darin, however, has the much more in-depth bluegrass pedigree, having played with a few legends of the bluegrass genre. He got his youthful progressive bluegrass freak flag on when he joined the group, Acoustic Syndicate. But, after that gig, he went old school when he played for seven years with the legendary IBMA Hall of Famers, The Country Gentlemen, until band founder and leader Charlie Waller died unexpectedly in 2004 while tending his garden.

“Live From Red, White and Bluegrass” features Darin and Brooke backed up by Matt Love on banjo and guitar, Dwayne Anderson on bass, Collin Willis on dobro and Rachel Johnson Boyd on fiddle, who hails from Bristol, Tenn.

Make no mistake about it, Brooke’s lead vocals are the focus of this band, and Darin uses his bluegrass experience to provide harmony vocals that blend with her voice nicely.

This is a young band, but they aren’t afraid to go old-school country with songs, such as “Making Plans,” written by Voni Morrison and Johnny Russell, and “No One Needs to Know,” penned by Eileen Lange and Robert Lange. They also step up with a couple of cuts co-written by songwriter extraordinaire Jerry Salley, including “Every Scar,” co-written by Gina Boe and Lee Black, and “That’s Just Me Loving You,” co-written by Lisa Shaffer. And, in a special moment, they play the song, “When He Beckons Me Home,” written by IBMA Hall of Famer George Shuffler, who is in the crowd and introduced from the stage.

Finally, on cut seven, the band is cut loose to do an instrumental number with the Uncle Josh Graves classic, “Foggy Mountain Rock.” Other highlights include “Corn,” a wonderful song about surviving and being happy in hard times, and a fired up bluegrass take on Neil Young’s “Powderfinger.”

For more information on Darin and Brooke Aldridge, or to purchase their new album, visit http://www.darinandbrookealdridge.com.

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