Review: The Twilite Broadcasters – The Trail of Time (Self Released, 2011)
This old-timey North Carolina trio (Mark Jackson on guitar, Adam Tanner on mandolin and fiddle, and Duane Anderson on stand-up bass) return with their second album of early-country inspired harmonizing. As on their first album, 2010’s Evening Shade, the singing brings to mind the Delmores and Louvins, and the song list recounts several of the brothers’ tunes alongside traditional songs and later country works. Jackson and Tanner can each sing lead, but it’s the blending of their voices that creates the brightest sparks. The solo verses of “There Stands the Glass,” for example, haven’t the searing quality of Webb Pierce’s hit, but the tight chorus harmonies provide a moving refrain. Tanner’s playing is lively on the original instrumental “North Buncombe Gallop,” Bill Monroe’s “Land of Lincoln” and Arthur Smith’s “Fiddler’s Dream,” and he adds short solos to several other tracks. It’s no surprise that the Delmore and Louvin compositions, including the former’s “Lead Me” and the latter’s “Lorene,” best fit the duo’s harmonizing. This is a homespun collection whose harmonies you could imagine the Broadcasters singing on your own back porch.