Dailey & Vincent
Singing from the Heart
4 stars (out of 5)
By Aaron Keith Harris
An off-and-on project since 2001, this 12-track, 33-minute a cappella album was recorded and released in May 2010 to benefit the Tennessee Bible College, an institution of the Church of Christ, which worships without instruments in their services.
Dailey and Vincent, along with a rotating roster of quartet members that includes Doyle Lawson, Blue Highway’s Shawn Lane and bass singer Glenn Dustin, hew so closely to the Southern tradition of shape-note singing that you can almost smell the Murphy’s Oil Soap on the wooden pews of the country church pictured on the CD cover.
Listeners expecting the all-out spiritedness of the duo’s three other albums (see here, here and here) might be a tad disappointed until they get into the feel of this set, which emphasizes equal parts beauty and precision.
The album’s opener, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” doesn’t quite swing as much as the Golden Gate Quartet’s version, but serves as a fine intro for what’s coming. The next four tracks—”Near the Cross,” “Hide Me, Rock of Ages,” “I Am Resolved,” and “The Old Rugged Cross”—are familiar favorites that are easy to sing along to, a goal the duo states in the liner notes.
“Moses Smote the Water” swings a little where “Joshua” didn’t. Dailey’s solo first verse of “Amazing Grace” is absolutely gorgeous, and things get even better when Molly Skaggs joins the second verse.
“Jesus is Coming Soon,” a hit for the Oak Ridge Boys, has some Southern Gospel swagger to it, and an ornate ending characteristic of that genre. “O To Be Like Thee” has a simpler arrangement, but no less exquisite a denouement.
“‘Til I See You Face to Face,” cowritten by Dailey and Lawson, holds up well in this mix of standards, and “Don’t You Want to Go to Heaven,” by David Marshall, represents well the style that the Marshall Family brought into the bluegrass music ambit.
This CD is satisfying enough on its own, but it will be thrilling to see some of these songs take flight in the always-exciting Dailey & Vincent live shows.