Thursday, April 25, 2013

Joe and Rose Lee Maphis - Ridin' the Frets

Obviously, I picked up several Maphis recordings recently, but this one is a bit different than the others. Here the concentration is on vocals (though he still gets to kick out the hillbilly jams now and again) as he duets with his lovely-voiced wife Rose. This is much more country oriented (though, again, there are plenty of bluegrass influences) and highlights the vocal blend of this couple.

The banjo is prominent on this recording, so Joe's guitar prowess is not pushed to the forefront as much, even on the several instrumentals included. But, it is the vocal, country tunes that are the basis for this album and Joe has a fine voice that works well with Rose's. There are a couple of overly goofy tunes (especially "Henhouse Serenade"), but overall, the songs are quite good.

Maphis gets to work out on a few tunes here, but this is more of an album for lovers of C&W singing than high-energy bluegrass dazzlement. But for that, it is a great one!