No stranger to collaboration, Will Oldham (the Bonnie ‘Prince’) once again finds himself working with Dawn McCarthy on the pair’s new LP, What The Brothers Sang — a 13 track tribute to the Everly Brothers, out today via Drag City Records.
An eclectic selection spanning the width and breadth of brothers discography, the pair navigate the Everly’s stylistic canon paying homage to the brothers early ‘classic’ sound while dipping deep into the lesser known waters of their catalog (see: “Omaha“, etc.). An incredibly satisfying record (Everly Brothers devotee or not), Oldham and McCarthy’s take on the material fits like a glove. Eschewing wild reinterpretation, the pair opt for thoughtful tribute. And while their voices add a weight and depth to the recordings that remains texturally in line with the originals, Brothers is clearly a Bonnie ‘Prince’ album. One in which McCarthy’s role cannot be overstated. Her vocal turn on “Somebody Help Me” is an album highlight; a raucous cover of the Jackie Edwards original and a tune the brothers themselves covered on their 1966 record, Two Yanks In England. Backed by The Hollies while in the UK, the track was a ‘rocker’ (for the Everlys, anyway), and in Oldham and McCarthy’s hands it’s transformed into a county-fair barnburner.