The symbiotic relationship of the sibling has long been a characteristic that is held to be responsible for some of the finest music and songwriting that has emerged into our post 1940's musical world (and probably before that if history were to be examined in more minute detail). Of course the combustible relationships of pioneers such like Louvin's and the Everly's will readily spring to the lips of most connoisseurs of acoustic and harmony based sibling revelry, but the list is almost inexhaustible taking in giants of the genre such as the Carter's, the Earle's, and the Allman's. Here, identical twins Adam and David Moss, finally come together, in musical terms, after a career so far of solo outings and successful session work, to make music that in all probability was meant to be their destiny after years of urging from their peers.
Adam (fiddle, banjo and vocals) and David (cello, guitar and vocals) take the plunge on this, their debut "Tugboats" EP, a 6 track affair that really does showcase their unique and intrinsically entwined talents. And it's a recording that beautifully harks back to a time when the world was a simpler place. When music was written as it was to be performed, songs were recorded in one take and then played through a crackling radiogram speaker. No use here for recording pyrotechnics, just a full and lush homegrown and almost homespun performing philosophy.
Those sugar sweet and on-point harmonies are one of the outstanding features of this collection, and will inevitably attract comparisons with the afore-mentioned Louvin Brothers, and of course there can be no more esteemed company in which to dwell. "Bird In A Tree" is an effortless blend of fiddle and acoustic guitar, but topped off with the kind of dual vocals that just lift the spirits, and title track "Tugboats" is more of the same, just simple and straightforward harmony singing of the highest order.
With the exception of the dark and brooding "Columbus Stockdale Blues", the EP as a whole retains that unique inspirative and all encompassing feel - an atmosphere of times gone past, distinctly retro and proud of it. This can of course only be possible when the musicians and the songs that they write are of top quality, and that is assuredly the case here. "Tugboats" encapsulates a unique time and place within the context of the songs and the performance of those songs, and it's a time and place that many still strive to reach. The Brother Brothers are there already, doing it, and for that we should all be eternally grateful.
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