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The Bramble & the Rose

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Album Review

The only duet album by McCaslin and Ringer (who were married to each other at the time) doesn't click too well, and indeed for McCaslin fans especially might be a disappointment. Their voices and musical persona's — McCaslin's high, sweet and vulnerable, Ringer's earthy and gruff — weren't well-suited for a collaboration. Stated more harshly, McCaslin was a greater talent than Ringer, and the combination of the two does more to lower McCaslin than it does to elevate Ringer. Beyond that, the material and arrangements are ordinary, all coming from outside sources, whether the traditional folk tune "Oh Death" or compositions from country-rockers like Herb Pedersen and Larry Murray. The low point is certainly the cover of "Hit the Road, Jack." Probably McCaslin was trying to do for it what she did for the rock songs "Things We Said Today," "Pinball Wizard," and "Blackbird," but it's leaden, and the dual vocals by McCaslin and Ringer don't possess chemistry. It's not a terrible album, just unmemorable and, probably, unnecessary.

Customer Reviews

Stands up over time

I have enjoyed this album for many, many years - 1st as an LP I bought probably in the 70's. It is a very pleasant selection of songs and in spite of what the posted review says I think their voices work together .......

Back to music

This feels like coming home to pure music. Mary's voice comes in (Strawberry, Stranger) and polishes Jim's without being studied or polished herself. What a pair of natural singers. I know this was recorded a while back since I had the LP, but it sounds much cleaner than many other versions of these same songs--both the sound quality and the interpretations.

The Bramble and The Rose

I have listened to and enjoyed this album for years. The simplicity and beauty of the musical arrangements and Jim and Mary's vocals keep the album heart rendering and fresh. I strongly disagree with the reviewers' opinion that their voices do not work well together. This album is and will continue to be a classic.

Customer Ratings