The Louvin Brothers were an American country music duo composed of brothers Ira Lonnie Loudermilk (1924–1965) and Charlie Elzer Loudermilk (1927–2011), better known as Ira and Charlie Louvin. They helped popularize close harmony, a genre of country music. The brothers are cousins to John D. Loudermilk, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member.
Kentucky—-This opening track clearly defines the beginning country harmonies of the early 60’s. Charlie and Ira were not to be matched for a very long time when it came to harmonies and a sorrowful sound. Combining minimal musical sounds but vibrant melodies, I fell in love with this duo the first time I ever heard the….I followed Charli right up to his death not long ago.
All Smile Tonight—-This defines shit kickin’ bluegrass that allows each brother to display their pitch and range…short….sweet and to the point. This is a bit religious….the Louvins always were…but still…the harmonies suck you in and make you smile…this is classic!
Let Her Go—-The phenomenal thing about this old classic country is that it manages to tell a story in about 2 minutes without leaving you feeling as if you missed something. The banjos and mandolins are incredible…the harmonies….just perfect and the simplicity somehow comforting.This does have a bit of darkness to it as well…remakable!
What Is Home Without Love—-The trill of the archaic instruments and the simple vocals make this so comforting in a personal way. These two voices are remarkable..it was sad that Ira died at such a young age….but Charlie managed to sound just as classic into his 90’s…this is just wonderfully simplistic music that makes me warm inside.
Be A Man Someday—-This literally defines the classic sound of the southern style of country music in the 60’s. This is just phenomenal to me…far surpassing the ‘new country’ sound that has overtaken Nashville these days. This is just incredible to revisit.
In The Pines—-Simplistic and wonderful, you can feel the cold feel of the song. The Brothers did not always sing shiny happy songs when they vocalized…this track is warm…but the vocals and lyrics are dark and rather morose…I love this group.
Alabama—-Such freakin’ remarkable melodies came from these guys….my gosh…there is not music like this anymore. I miss the simplicity of the arrangements and sound.If you get a chance to hear this duo…it is a must!!!!
Kate Dear—-The trill of the banjo, the story that accompanies the melody…the dark lyrics….this is not a happy song. It reminds you of the classic meaning of many country songs…there is no brightness in this track…it is murder…death and despair…but rather pleasing at the same time.
Knoxville Girl—-Pleasing and pleasant, this is another track that has a hidden meaning behind it. This is full of murder, blood and a rather sick story. The boys combined the vocals to make it rather pleasant…but the true meaning of the song is realized from the first listen…there is a rather perverse message to these brothers compositions…oh my!!!
Take The News—-With a rather nice banjo intro, this is a much more sedate and pleasant song as opposed to the previous composition. Thin is the sound that defined country music as it was established in the late 50’s and early 60’s. If you want a crash course in country…please introduce yourself to the Louvin Brothers.
Mary Of The Moor—-Another song that begins with a rather pleasant musical track, the lyrics remind you that these brothers had a rather dark side. This is a far cry from the later recordings that were largely gospel/christian oriented. If you want the beginnings of bluergrass and country melodies….this is for you.
**** out of 5