Henry Carrigan POSTED ON OCTOBER 16, 2019
A mournful fiddle, backed by the muted strum of a mandolin, opens Darin and Brooke Aldridge’s achingly gorgeous version of The Louvin Brothers’ “Every Time You Leave.” After the first four instrumental bars, the duo adds their layers of near-perfect harmonies, slowly spiraling upward as they lead into the instrumental bridge, which features Zeb Snyder’s crystalline lead guitar notes and Darin Aldridge’s ethereal mandolin licks. Coming out of the bridge, the duo modulates up one key as the song spirals even higher, elevating the emotion and the beauty of the song.
“Every Time You Leave” illustrates the stunning breadth and depth of Darin and Brooke Aldridge’s talents that characterizes the entirety of Inner Journey. The duo has selected a range of songs on which three-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Brooke Aldridge’s lustrous vocals shine, and on which the duo’s harmonies weave naturally around and under each other. The songs on the album range over themes of love, family, and loss. Brooke Aldridge’s song “Someone’s Everything” features a mother giving advice to a daughter: “Always remember you’re someone’s everything / just like you’re mine and always will be.” Tommy White’s dobro kicks off the song and floats under the cascading mandolin and guitar strums and fiddle runs.
The duo includes a toe-tapping, dancing-around-the-floor bluegrass version of CSNY’s “Teach Your Children,” with fiddles chasing steel guitars around the verses and choruses. The album opens with the Vince Gill/Randy Scruggs/Earl Scruggs-penned “I Found Love,” featuring Ron Block’s lilting banjo rolls and showcasing Brooke Aldridge’s soaring alto. On “Trouble in the Fields,” Aldridge captures the emotional struggles between pain and love of Nanci Griffith’s original.
Inner Journey showcases Darin and Brooke Aldridge’s stunning harmonies, highlighting the somber and poignant beauty of two voices almost effortlessly finding each other and matching each other perfectly note-for-note. Few albums can come close to matching the sheer beauty of the music itself here.