Partially filling the void left by the passing of Doc Watson, this duo explores the riches of old-time and country music to uncover all too rare gems. That’s a tall order, but these gentlemen are up to the task. Singing with a smile, playing myriad of instruments, this duo mines the mountains of western North Carolina for 14 gems that reflect an America that still exists when these fellows play. A wide range of material from sources as diverse as Etta Baker and Leslie Riddle to Cas Wallin, Merle Travis and Mose Rager, Bascom Lamar Lunsford to Obray Ramsey and Doc Watson himself.
Backed by a solid rhythm section of Tim Surrett, acoustic bass, Tony Creasman, percussion, and Chris Rosser, piano, they match Watson’s down-home sophistication for delivery and arrangement. Enough, but not too much, mark the arrangements whether it be “Whoop ’Em Up, Cindy” or “Darkness On The Delta.” Goforth’s tenor shines in contrast to Holt’s baritone. Goforth catches a similar feel to Doc’s “I Don’t Love Nobody” as Doc recorded it a half-century ago as “Nothin’ To It.”
Known for their banjo picking and fiddling, here these gentlemen demonstrate their talents on a wide range of instruments. They sing their tails off as they present this program of songs that will sound at once familiar, but different for their uniqueness. If you love that good old-time music presented with a sense of the contemporary and a healthy dose of respect for from whence it came, this is a highly enjoyable effort that grows better with repeated listening. You could say it’s good medicine for these times. (High Windy Audio, P.O. Box 553, Fairview, NC 28730, www.davidholt.com.)RCB