DAILEY & VINCENT TEACH BLUEGRASS AND GOSPEL QUARTET SINGING—TAUGHT BY JAMIE DAILEY AND DARRIN VINCENT WITH JEFF PARKER AND CHRISTIAN DAVIS—Homespun 9781597733342. One DVD, $29.95. (Homespun Video, P.O. Box 694, Woodstock, NY 12498, www.homespuntapes.com.)
The tradition of quartet singing in bluegrass goes back to the first generation bands and carries on today, with most bands singing gospel songs in four-part harmony. Dailey & Vincent is a duo within a quartet within a bluegrass band. They are by far the most versatile vocal quartet working today in any genre—at home in the bluegrass tradition, the southern gospel tradition, and the country quartet tradition.
Happy Traum of Homespun Video does a good job in keeping the quartet focused on how they approach songs, how they decide which part each singer takes, and how they approach songs stylistically. This is a master class in four-part singing, and a great performance video of the quartet. If you’ve been singing harmony for a while, you’ll understand the terminology. If you’re just starting out, you’ll be inspired to try what they do, but what they do is not easy and not always easy to explain. They do a good job, though, and they cover a wide range of material, from the Statler Brothers to traditional bluegrass gospel.
They succeed best, I think, on John Denver’s “Country Roads” in explaining the different parts, how they fill the needed gaps, go to seventh chords, and switch parts. There’s a lot here and it bears repeated viewing. Just listening to this otherworldly quartet will either inspire you or scare you away. A good drinking game would be to take a shot every time Darrin Vincent laughs.
Songs on this 75-minute DVD: “He’s Been So Good To Me,” “Moses Smote The Water,” “Class Of ’57,” “Flowers On The Wall,” “Country Roads,” “Amazing Grace,” “Until At Last I’m Home,” and “Living In The Kingdom Of God.”CVS