Dogwood Winter

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The combined talents of highly experienced bluegrass singers and musicians Steve Gulley and Blue Highway’s Tim Stafford make for a graceful, stripped-down acoustic treat. This mix of fiery bluegrass, country ballads and rootsy songs finds two gifted friends clearly enjoying an easy musical camaraderie. The intro to “Dogwood Winter” echoes the sounds of a crackling old vinyl record before giving way to Tim and Steve’s smooth harmonies. From the lush guitar of “Nebraska Sky” and the vocally challenging “Dying Won’t Be Hard at All” to the teasing fiddle on the aptly titled “Snow,” the disc is filled with ear-tickling moments. The subtle story songs “Torches” (which laments meeting the right person at the wrong time) and “Angel on His Way” (the touching ballad of a man helping a homeless woman) are highlights. Scorching licks like the ones heard on “Just Along for the Ride” and elsewhere all but heat up this Dogwood Winter.

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