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Duo’s Music is Not What You’d Expect

Diane and Mildred

Diane and Mildred

TRI-CITIES, Tenn./Va., July 20, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — The harmony of Diane and Mildred is different than what we hear from the Everly or Delmore Brothers or other family groups. These wonderful groups sing together as one person, with every nuance of melody reflected in each voice, with a timbre matched like the fine woods of a quality mandolin.

Diane and Mildred, however, are each highly distinctive singers. How special that these two ladies have both found a home in Bluegrass Gospel Music, despite having arrived at this spot after traveling different musical roads.

Mildred, an impressive instrumentalist and composer of much of the pair’s repertoire, sings with the classic keening twang of the south. Her representation of melodies is simple, direct and unembellished. She works her voice across a wide spectrum of tone, sometimes warm and sometimes sharp, which works well for her lyrics that talk of redemption and faith. Her command of the country tradition, vocally and instrumentally, creates a timelessness in the music, that leaves the listener unsure as to whether they are listening to a new recording or a transcription from an old 78rpm disc.

Diane, a New Yorker with southern roots, brings a bluesy and soulful style to the blend. Her knowledge of southern Gospel music and her command of African American styles reflects perfectly the development of bluegrass music in the style of Bill Monroe, also a pioneer of bluegrass gospel. Diane’s vocal lines are constantly moving and bending around and between the melody notes, working somehow perfectly with Mildred’s straighter interpretations. Mildred is the beanpole, straight and solidly placed in the earth, while Diane is the vine, curving around, in and out, reaching toward the sun.

Pickin’ n Singin’ Gospel Songs in the Country volumes 1 and 2 collections will be treasured by fans of Diane and Mildred’s Gospel Music Arts telecasts and performances. New listeners will soon feel that they’ve been listening to these two sisters forever. The Christian faith and beliefs of Diane and Mildred are at the root of this music. If you did not know better, (based on photographic evidence), you would swear they were sisters.

The GMA Bluegrass Band’s musical accompaniment of these songs is traditional and solid.

-Steven Antonelli, Director of New York Mandolin Orchestra
(also previously arranged and sang on two of Diane McKoy’s CDs)

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