Accomplished young guitarist Mason Via and Duffey-influenced mandolinist Tom Mindte take full advantage of the flexibility of the brother-duo format on their eponymous debut. Backed by bassist Ben Somerville, the pair apply their musical excellence to typical duet music (“Twas Midnight On The Stormy Deep”), bluegrass (“Heed This Advice” with Rob Benzig on banjo, one of two songs penned by Via), old-time (“Rockingham Cindy” featuring hot young clawhammer banjo player Victor Furtado and remarkable fiddler Nate Leath), even rockabilly (“I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday”).
Swapping parts, Mindte and Via sing well together. Their seemingly effortless vocal blend, however, exists in the shadow of their musicianship. The attention to detail in both their picking and singing stands out. Somehow, they manage to push the edges with their breaks without ever distracting from the vocals or straying from tasteful. Updating a classic sound for today, Mindte and Via have produced a solid, thoroughly enjoyable debut with something that should appeal to almost any roots music lover. (Patuxent Music, P.O. Box 572, Rockville, MD 20848, www.pxrec.com.)AM