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CD Review: THE MALPASS BROTHERS – The Malpass Brothers

THE MALPASS BROTHERS

The Malpass Brothers.
A Death In The Family – Which One Is To
Blame – It’ll Be Me – Learn To Love Me Too – Hello Walls – Begging To
You – Here in Alberta I’ll Stay – I Met A Friend Of Yours Today – Baby,
We’re Really In Love – I Found Someone To Love – I Just Don’t Like This
Kind of Livin’ – Satan and the Saint
 
As the President of the National Traditional Country Music
Association, for the past 42 years, I reckon I’ve been reviewing ‘real’
country music CD’s for something like at least 40 years or more, mostly
here in the upper Midwest.  I do it for the pure joy of hearing some
great music, with just about everything coming out of Nashville today
very un-country.  Many of the CD’s I review come from the hinter lands,
way out in rural America.  It’s where ‘real’ country still
survives these days.  The hardest part of that is there are so few
really good artists.  Then, out of the blue, I get a CD by a couple of
young brothers called the Malpass Brothers.  WOW, what a treat to the
ears of someone who actually loves ‘real’ country music.  These brothers
from North Carolina are much more than the typical “breath of fresh
air.”  They are the epitome of what ‘real’ country is.  They are the
resurrection of the Louvin Brothers, or the Jim & Jesse of
re-engerized ‘real’ country music.  Astonishingly amazing is the only
way I can describe this incredibly gifted duo.  They aren’t the run of
the mill artist that tries to do everything in music, but only comes up
with hardly anything.  These boys have done it right, soaking up the
music of their North Carolina granddad’s old 78rpm recordings, ever
since they were boys.  Their entire ‘gut’ is what country music is,
should be, and isn’t these days.  This sibling talent might very well be
the only thing standing between ‘real’ country music and the ‘pop-rap’
we are handed, called country music.  They utilize everything they’ve
been exposed to as youngsters.  Everything from outstanding vocals,
including what a ‘yodel’ might sound like in ‘real’ country music
today.  Try their excellent “Begging To You” one of Marty Robbins
songs.  They open this CD with one of my favorite ‘real’ country music
songwriters and friend, Bill Anderson.  If you aren’t hooked with “A
Death In The Family” from the very beginning, you probably aren’t aware
of what ‘real’ country music sounds like, but you’ll be hooked anyway.  I
not only love the way the lead vocal is out front, not hidden in the
mix like so much so-called country today, I love the way the musicians
KNOW they are doing the real deal, and how they are enjoying every
single second of it.  Both the Malpass boys do lead vocals, and like the
Everly Brothers who made their first successful adventure with country
music right here in Iowa, the Malpass Brothers bring it full scale, back
to us again.  Jeff Collins on piano and keyboard (really really nice);
David Johnson on steel guitar, acoustic guitar and fiddle (really really
nice); Tim Surrett on acoustic bass (the real deal bass sound done
really really nice); Tony Creasman on drums (really really nice to hear
music without this instrument being the lead instrument.).  Van Atkins
of Crossroads Studios in Arden, North Carolina, did the mixing and
mastering, most excellently done under the careful ear of producer Doyle
Lawson who not only knows what bluegrass music is, he REALLY knows what
‘real’ country music sounds like.  What a beautiful day it is for me
today.  And the closing song.  How can it get any better than with this
Louvin Brothers song “Satan And The Saint.”  What a beautiful listening
experience.  Since I have a close connection to the Rural Roots Music
Commission who select some of their CD of the Year awards from many of
the CD’s that I forward to them, I can’t wait to hear their reaction to
this incredibly good ‘real’ country CD.  If I was a Malpass Brother I’d
be looking forward to a CD of the Year award.  From probably the most
‘rural’ of any of America’s states these days.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President of the National Traditional Country Music Association, in Iowa for Country Music News International

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