Crowe Brothers raise the bar for harmony

Years ago I sat at a light table designing the album cover for an upcoming record release for two friends Josh and Wayne Crowe. Designing album covers was just another one of my many career facets that allowed me to come to know a lot of great performers by freelancing for their record companies.

There were specific acts that drew people to the concert stage when I was traveling full-time on the bluegrass circuit. When I reflect on my long-standing musical friendships – these are two individuals who found a unique niche back then for their talents. They drew…. especially alongside their initial employer banjo stylist Raymond Fairchild.
They now have brought together that sound once again in a new exciting CD and are traveling nationwide to bluegrass festivals and other venues.
I had the pleasure of visiting with them at IBMA World of Bluegrass in Nashville where Josh told me that they were enthusiastic about returning to the road again sharing their show.
“This project took on a mind of its own,” Josh said. “I feel like we made a real good move working with Rural Rhythm. It’s opened a lot doors and got us a lot publicity.”
The Crowe Brothers sound is blessed with the uniqueness of polished sibling vocal talents that can be heard on a song such as “Cindy Mae.” That single appeared in Cashbox charts in 2009 and was number one on Sirius XM radio.
Josh said he really enjoyed creating some recordings which reflected the Wilburn Brothers sound including “Which One to Blame” and “Go Away with Me.”
With musical predecessors such as the Blue Sky Boys, Louvin Brothers, Jim and Jesse and others, they are now simply infusing a tradition of brother duets with new a vibrant energy. Adding new material such as “Million For a Broken Heart” and “Take Me By the Hand” to classics.
Their innovative respect to those who came before along with their vision for a future for their niche can be heard distinctively in their new Rural Rhythm CD “Brothers n Harmony.”
As one of the biggest Jim and Jesse fans I am sure in history, the sound of a brother duet always pulls me towards a stage or a radio speaker. The Crowes accomplish that same pulling power for me. Their sound should draw any serious listener of traditional bluegrass and gospel music.
Listening to songs such as “Are You Teasing Me?,” I can envision the Crowes as youngsters listening to Ira and Charlie Louvin. Charlie even wrote some complimentary liner notes for the project.
This collection of material is perfectly complimented by their vocals and the tasteful musical arrangements simply add to the fervor of elation as each song flows by.
A couple of my personal favorites “I Know that I Am Saved,” and the Dan Seals song “God Must Be a Cowboy.”
Among the tremendous talents adding to their singing and musical talents are fiddler Steve Thomas, banjo stylist Steve Sutton, Darren Nicholson on mandolin, Randy Kohrs on Dobro and lap steel, and Shawn Apple on percussion.
Special guest appearances were made by banjo stylist Don Wayne Reno on “Better Luck Next Time;” mandolinist Ronnie McCoury on “Country Boy Rock n Roll;” and pianist Buck White on “Million for a Broken Heart.”
Josh told another project is already in the works.
I have to say buying and listening to this CD is something I would encourage anyone to do…… This summer you can also catch The Crowe Brothers for Thursday night concerts at the Stompin’ Ground in Maggie Valley, NC at 8 p.m.
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