Album Review

Dudley Connell / Don Rigsby - Another Saturday Night

Dudley Connell - Another Saturday Night

This second entry from two of the most recognizable singers in bluegrass -- Dudley Connell with the Seldom Scene, Don Rigsby with the Lonesome River Band, and both with Rounder supergroup Longview -- finds them mostly on different ground than their enhanced brother-duet debut, 1999's Meet Me By The Moonlight. Recorded at Tom T. Hall's Top Dog Studios, Another Saturday Night has a grittier, fuller sound well-suited to the material. The first sign of change comes just seconds into the CD, as Randy Kohrs' deft steel guitar lends a honky-tonk kick to the Jimmie Skinner-penned title track. Though a couple of numbers rely exclusively on Connell's guitar and Rigsby's mandolin for backing, bassist Missy Raines and fiddler Tim O'Brien, together with Kohrs, are on hand for the rest, and they do a fine job of tackling a variety of material. Though they come from different backgrounds -- Rigsby's an eastern Kentucky boy, while Connell grew up in the D.C. suburbs -- they share an interest in songs and sounds beyond the strictly rural. Thus their readings of the Everly Brothers' "So Sad (to Watch Good Love Go Bad)" and Bob Dylan's "Hollis Brown" sit beside more down-home material such as Lynn Davis' "Too Late", "Joe Isaacs' "Dreams Of Home", and the venerable "Where Is My Sailor Boy". Other highlights include a squarely country take on "The Ballad Of Ira Hayes", complete with a Tom T. Hall recitation, and a sweet life-after-death tale penned by Hall's wife, Dixie. No matter the source, Connell and Rigsby offer fresh, insightful versions that gain depth through the blend of their distinctive voices and the adventurous support of a thoughtfully assembled cast.