Darin and Brooke Aldridge are enjoying a revival of sorts. Their latest album, Faster and Farther, was in part shaped by New Grass Revival’s John Cowan, who has been touring with the band.
Six albums into their bluegrass career, Darin and Brooke accomplished exactly what they needed to with Faster and Farther: they found a way to sound exciting and new without actually sounding different. It’s also noteworthy for contributions from musicians and songwriters like Cowan, Vince Gill, and Carl Jackson, as well as Pat Flynn, who wrote the standout track “Kingdom Come.”
“[Flynn] wrote that song and pitched it to us when we were playing a few dates when we were looking out for new material,” Darin told me during a recent interview for Country Pocket. “He said that was one of the songs he was saving if they’d ever done the next New Grass record.”
Cowan’s influenced Faster and Farther by writing “This River,” a ballad that feels equal parts tribute to earthly and spiritual guidance, and by updating New Grass Revival’s “Lila” with extensive harmonies.
“He said It was the first time he’d ever had a female in the band with a great voice like Brooke’s got for us to be able to do a lot of vocal harmonies in songs that he’d never got to experience in his career,” Darin said of Cowan. “Me and Brooke are just smiling ear to when we get to play with him.”
Even with Cowan’s involvement in the album and backing vocals from Gill on the fantastic lead single “Mountains in Mississippi,” the Aldridges’ vocals remain the driving force behind almost every song. Brooke powers through the energetic “Kingdom Come” and traditional “Sacred Lamb” with poise. Darin, meanwhile, delivers the tenderness “This River” needed to be as effective as it was. Most tracks on Faster and Farther benefit from harmonies between the couple. Their high and lonesome notes in “Highway of Heartache” are particularly strong.
“We’ve still got a good mix of Darin and Brooke music in there,” Darin said. “We still got our touch on everything.”
That’s particularly evident on the Carl Jackson tune “Fit For A King.” In it, Brooke delivers a stirring vocal about a homeless man who is redeemed through his faith.
“The Gospel is in there, and that’s something me and Brooke set out to do since we recorded our first record: to be true to who we are and to be a great couple who puts a positive message out there to the audiences,” Darin said.
To hear Darin talk about falling for Brooke and which classic country song they enjoyed singing together while they were first dating, listen here. Happy Valentine’s Day!