Male-female country collaborations are nearly as old as the genre itself. But thanks in part to the popularity of the Civil Wars, the concept is hot again. That makes the waters perfect for husband and wife duo The Mastersons to jump into the surf. It also helps that both, once solo artists, have the substantial support of Steve Earle, in whose backing band they currently play. That provides a built-in audience as they open many of his shows as well as allowing them to take tips on songwriting and performing from one of contemporary alt-country music’s finest purveyors. Earle’s ongoing collaboration with his wife Allison Moorer is also a blueprint for the Mastersons’ approach.
There is little here written or played with the urgency and intensity of Steve Earle, but that’s not the direction the twosome is aiming for. Instead, this chiming country rock with its sumptuous vocals and easy flowing melodies makes a perfect soundtrack for a summer of warm nights and hot, lazy days.