Music review: Brother Brothers' harmonies shimmer on album of covers

"Cover to Cover," The Brother Brothers (Compass Records)

Identical twins Adam and David Moss are easy to tell apart on their charming new album of cover tunes.

That's usually David singing the high part, his gentle harmonies with Adam doing a distinctive dance that can only result from plenty of practice and shared genes. It's as if the Illinois natives were separated at birth by thirds.

"Cover to Cover" is a celebration of the folk duo's influences and an imaginative mix of material from such songwriting Hall of Famers as Hoagy Carmichael, Tom T. Hall and Jackson Browne. The Brother Brothers avoid obvious choices and instead shine a light on worthy deep cuts, among them Richard Thompson's "Waltzing's for Dreamers," James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes" and Tom Waits' "Flower's Grave."

Sparse but tasteful and varied instrumental accompaniment includes the brothers' fiddle and cello. Two tunes ride atop Alison Brown's bouncy bluegrass banjo, and electric guitar makes the Revelers' "If You Ain't Got Love" sound Buddy Holly-esque.

The brothers forge a crystalline vocal blend even on songs typically considered solo vehicles, including an a cappella performance of Carmichael's "I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)," which is augmented by lovely backing vocals from sisters Rachael and Emily Price.

And the Mosses perform the Beatles' "I Will" as if they've been singing it together since they were 6, which they have. Such is the beauty of sibling harmony.

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