Desert Heart Mountain Soul

New Englander Chris Brashear is a performer, teacher, and recording artist who plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and bass. While living in Arizona he met Peter McLaughlin with whom he has collaborated on a few projects including this one. McLaughlin is also a performer, recording artist, and instructor. He plays guitar and mandolin. Both sing and on this new project they are joined by guests Alvin Blaine (banjo, resonator guitar, pedal steel), Duncan Stitt (piano), J.J. O’Connell (drums), Chris Haynes (accordion), Hollis Brashear (vocal), and Alice Gerrard (vocal). 

The selections include originals by McLaughlin and Brashear and a few in collaboration with writer Mark “Brink” Brinkman, such as the title “Desert Heart Mountain Soul,” and others like “Another Trip Around The Sun,” “Footprints In A Song,” “The Day I Was Set Free,” and “Before I Get Home.”  McLaughlin wrote “Take Me Back To Where I Was Born,” and “The Right Time Of Year,” while Brashear contributes his “21 On The Border,” and the instrumental “Run Little Hank” which features Brashear’s excellent fiddle work. There are also songs from country and folk writers like Woody Guthrie’s “Pastures Of Plenty,” Clyde Moody’s “Six White Horses,” and Cliff Carlisle’s “Girl In The Blue Velvet Band.”  There is the late Kate Wolf’s “Across The Great Divide,” and guest Alice Gerrard joins them on her own “You Gave Me A Song.” 

Brashear and McLaughlin have very similar voices so it is a bit hard to tell who is singing lead, and they each provide harmony to the lead vocal. This is real nice collection of tunes from these two talented individuals.

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