A female lead singer who sings her own compositions in a low, powerful voice is paired with a male lead guitarist who sings harmony. No, it isn’t Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, but this duo does not suffer from the comparison. Nine of the ten songs on this CD are originals by husband and wife Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish. The tenth song is “Can’t Get A Letter From Home” from the singing of Addie Graham of Magoffin County, Ky. Laura sings all lead vocals and plays rhythm guitar and lead guitar on two songs. Kagey sings harmony and plays lead guitar and mandolin. Barry Lawson plays bass on “That Good Old Way.”
They open with “Amaranth,” a plaintive lament of the lack of love. “Test Of Time,” however, is about lasting love. “Nobody In This World” is about losing love. In “Goodbye And Farewell,” she is leaving. These are all classic themes, but they get a fresh and unique treatment here. Wortman can sing in a high, pure voice or with a deeper rasp as the lyrics demand. The accompaniment is always tasteful and appropriate.
The songs are all well-crafted with powerful imagery of flowers, heaven, the creek in the woods, the wildcat and hawk in the mountains. The CD finishes with a rousing gospel number, “That Good Old Way.” Highly-recommended for those who like topnotch duet singing with roots in old-time and bluegrass. (Honey Dewdrops, 21 Vineyards Ct., St. Charles, MO 63304.) SAG