AldridgeSnapshotsCovBigEvery bluegrass artist must struggle to reconcile looking forward with looking back—and when they get it right, well, that’s when the magic happens. Because then, not only is tradition honored, it’s kept alive.

So it is with Darin & Brooke Aldridge. And while Snapshots isn’t the only example of how organically they balance their respect for tradition with their engagement in the exciting—and challenging—musical world of today, it’s the best so far. Though it’s not a gospel album, it’s filled with gospel songs and sentiments—a natural reflection of Darin and Brooke’s deep faith; though it’s not an “all-star” album of high-powered collaborations, there are some special guests whose presence both adds to the music itself and serves to locate Darin and Brooke in an artistic community of unrivaled excellence.

There’s little need to draw attention to the clarity, precision and heartfelt emotion of the singing, or to the sensitivity and virtuosity of the playing, whether it’s by Darin or the members of their band, or by their guests. These things earn your attention on their own, whether it’s the opening “Get Up John,” a mandolin tune written by Bill Monroe and played here by Sam Bush; the beauty of “When He Calls,” including harmony from Ricky Skaggs; or the closing “Wait ‘Till The Clouds Roll By,” from the repertoire of early Opry star Uncle Dave Macon.

So if there’s anything that a few additional words can underline, it’s that Snapshots is a true and faithful reflection of what makes Darin and Brooke favorites of both fans and colleagues throughout the bluegrass community.

—Jon Weisberger, Cottontown, TN, November, 2014