Holdin’ Our Own and
Other Country Gold Duets
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Reviewed by Red Rocker
The album title gives a pretty fair clue as to what to expect here, as Holdin’ Our Own matches Dayton’s “George” with newcomer Brennen Leigh’s “Tammy” for moments of vintage country duet, well, gold. Together they chug through several authentically twangy originals, while tackling a few less-than-famous covers from classic country pioneers just for credibility’s sake. Like Jones and Wynette, Dayton and Leigh sincerely share the microphone while telling tales about lovin’, leavin’, breakin’ up and makin’ up. They find themselves assuming the role of relationship counselors on “Two Step Program” and travel agents on “Let’s Run Away.” On the gassed-up “Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man,” Dayton’s “turbo country” style burns, saluting Johnny Cash and June Carter in dead-ringer fashion.
There’s a lighthearted innocence to this collection that transcends even 23-year-old Brennen’s youth. The Everly Brothers’ otherwise glum “Brand New Heartache” gets lifted up and brightened by a clap-happy piano, while “Somethin’ Somebody Said” brings the knee-slapping goodness of a backwoods square dance. Pure, salty, and unrefined are the vocals, especially Leigh’s, on this eclectic trip down honky tonk lane. Maybe Dayton has been trying too hard to invent his own tractor wheel while his best Johnny and June impression has been calling all along?