The "brother duet" has always been a staple of bluegrass music. With voices that just seem to naturally ring together, sibling groups like the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers and Jim and Jesse McReynolds helped define the vocal side of the genre. The Gibson Brothers carry on this tradition, but they also carry it forward. Their music is faithful to the brother duet format, emphasizing tight harmony singing, and after a dozen albums over more than two decades, this most recent recording consists entirely of original Gibson Brothers material.
Lyrically, In the Ground covers well-worn bluegrass territory, from road stories to moonshine hangovers to the folly of youth, and draws on Eric and Leigh Gibson's upstate New York dairy farm upbringing. The songwriting is solid, with a few particularly catchy songs — "Remember Who You Are," "I Found a Church Today" and "Making Good Time," notably — that sound like instant classics.
The blend of the brothers' voices may be the main attraction, but the album also features great playing by Mike Barber on bass, Clayton Campbell on fiddle, Jesse Brock on mandolin and Rob Ickes on Dobro, as well as Eric and Leigh on banjo and guitar, respectively. Perhaps the best track on the album, "My Quiet Mind" pairs a simple guitar lick with a unison vocal line for a really memorable chorus.
It's easy to see why the Gibson Brothers have so many bluegrass awards under their belts; let's hope they've got a few more decades worth of albums in them, too. (Rounder)