feller-&-hillFELLER & HILL

Blue Circle Records

   When something works, stay with it. The debut from Feller & Hill, an excellent mix of classic country, bluegrass, gospel, and Buck Owens and brother-duet vocalizing, did just that and earned them some deserved recognition. For their second release, they stick largely to the formula that got them here, and that includes the talents of fiddlers Steve Thomas and Michael Cleveland and resonator guitarist Glenn Gibson. If you heard the first recording and enjoyed it, you should be pleased with the second. There is a bit more focus on the country music end of the repertoire, resulting in a slight loss of variety, but the quality of the songs and the tight performances balance the ledger.

As with their first, Feller & Hill cover some tunes from a Holt, only this time it’s Aubrey’s turn. His “Hey Baby” is sort of in that rapid patter style of “Hot Rod Lincoln” and makes for a great up-and-churning opener. His “Here Comes Polly,” equally churning and full of snappy lyrics, one of the most bluegrass tunes here, closes the session. Also here, are a couple from Tom T. and Dixie Hall, including the slow country of “Tired Of Losing You” with Rhonda Vincent on a verse and harmony. Those hold their own beside covers of Faron Young’s shuffling “Forget The Past,” Don Reno’s “He’s Coming Back To Earth Again,” and the Delaney and Bonnie classic “Never Ending Song Of Love,” which is given several notable touches on arrangement. Buck Owens and Don Gibson don’t get any representation on this one, but Feller has penned an interesting tribute to them, “The Ballad Of Buck and Don,” expertly weaving together riffs and titles and phrases into a rollicking and somewhat goofy whole. Throw in the surprising and welcome Broadway instrumental from Richard Rodgers, “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue” ably handled by Feller’s mandolin work, and the results are excellent all around. (Blue Circle Records, P.O. Box 681286, Franklin, TN 37068, www.bluecirclerecords.com.)BW

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