Join the Band

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Musical math is tricky. You can add a great singer to another great singer and multiply them by a great song, but the result doesn’t always equal a great recording—which is why most duet albums add up to less than the sum of their parts. That’s certainly true on these two collections, which share one participant (the ever-reliable Vince Gill) and are both always listenable, but rarely inspiring.

There are plenty of talented singers paired with the Possum on Burn Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets, but the song choices range from suitable at best to cringingly inappropriate at worst. Meanwhile, classic-rock band Little Feat’s Join the Band draws guests like Emmylou Harris and Brooks & Dunn for a set heavy on new versions of its old tunes, but most participants are too respectful of the originals to dare attempt making these songs their own.