This One Is Two

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Ralph Stanley II has spent the last decade and a half backing his bluegrass-legend father as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist, but his fifth solo album goes a long way toward establishing “Two” as his own man. This One Is Two makes a pronounced move away from bluegrass and toward country, although for many the distinction may be hardly noticeable. The most important factors here are Ralph’s biting baritone and the top-shelf songs—he co-wrote just two, but chooses wisely from the catalogs of songwriters ranging from Lyle Lovett to Elton John and from Tom T. Hall to Townes Van Zandt.