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Album Release Spotlight – Starlett & Big John

Starlett & Big John did it again! This powerful duo, of only 4 years, has gone and released their second album. The first single released was ‘Straight 58’ and it totally had me on the first few notes. ‘Straight 58’ is that type of song that makes you want to sing along and remains in your mind. It’s not only a song that touches on the heartbreak topic, but it shows the strengths of Starlett’s voice delivering the message. With ‘Straight 58’ racing up the charts and staying in the forefront, Rebel Records released the second song, ‘Living in the South’, the title cut track of the album.

As the melody and memories of ‘Straight 58’ linger in your mind, ‘Living in the South’ gives you that true southern feel. It is that song you sing along with and immediately reminisce about those days of swinging on the front porch with your grandma. Starlett’s voice on these two songs obviously catches your attention but the instrumentals also provide the great sounds that will make your toes start tapping. These two songs were not only delivered beautifully by this great duo, but the songs were also written by Starlett Boswell & Big John Talley.

Now that I have listened to the entire album, I cannot stop thinking, “wow”. The album has a total of 14 tracks in which Starlett & Big John have written six of the 14 songs. The remaining eight songs are well-known chosen covers that allow Starlett & Big John to show off their amazing blend of harmony with each other. Throughout the album you will hear the great instrumental work created by the artists: Starlett Boswell on bass, Big John Talley on guitar, David Carroll on banjo, Johnathan Dillon on mandolin and Ron Stewart on fiddle and dobro on ‘Living in the South’.

As I listen to Starlett & Big John sing the cover songs, I can definitely tell they had fun recording the songs. Big John took the lead vocals on ‘Makin Tracks to Macon’ and crushed it. As I listen to ‘Settin’ the Woods on Fire’ I can’t stop thinking about the show Hee-Haw. Not sure if it is because of the bantering back and forth but what a fun song. ‘Back Away Little Heart’, ‘Makeup and Faded Blue Jeans’ and ‘My Brown Eyed Darling’ covers all show the respect they both have for traditional bluegrass. ‘The Dirt That You Throw’ definitely has a slower tempo but I have to be honest, I definitely love the lyrics. It is one of those songs that makes you think, “yep, I know someone like that”. The gospel song ‘Safely in the Arms of Jesus’ was beautifully done by Starlett & Big John and gives you that loving feeling. Following the gospel song, you will hear Starlett absolutely pour it all out on the beautiful ‘Deepening Snow’ song. This song can easily be one that many will relate to and possibly have their hearts touched by the lyrics and beautiful voice of Starlett.

As the cover songs show Starlett & Big John’s musical talents, the four remaining songs were written by them and demonstrate their amazing ability of writing songs. ‘The Ties That Bind’, ‘Quit Quittin’ You’, ‘Slowly Let Me Down’ and ‘Clean Slate’ all have that break-up, saddened, or love story type of mood but are all brilliantly written. Honestly, who doesn’t love sad songs! They all have the perfect mix of vocals and instrumental sound. It is evident that this Duo makes sure to deliver songs that have the feel of great bluegrass through vocals and instrumentation along with their strong ability of sharing emotion through the songs.

The ‘Living in the South’ album is absolutely one of those that will engage you from the beginning and keep your attention from the first song to the last. It is very clear to see why this strong bluegrass Duo of Starlett & Big John has been making waves in the world of Bluegrass. I truly look forward to all their music to come in the years to come.

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