Review BR Boys Good Things

BR Boys
Good Things
BR Boys BR 1000

Review by Art Menius for Bluegrass Unlimited

Broken Hearted Lover      Railroad Blues    Babies in the Mill    Streets of London     No Letter in the Mail Today     The Good Things (Outweigh the Bad)     Lose Your Blues    Yellow Roses    Are You Tired of Me My Darling    Sunny Side of Life    Poor Rebel Soldier    Prairie Reverie     Married Life Blues


The BR Boys, David Sheppard and Scott Manring have pleased Greensboro, North Carolina audiences since the 1970s. Not until the fall of 1998, however, could their fans enjoy their debut recording, Good Things. Sheppard and Manring have spent most of their career playing pubs, and their repertoire in some ways resembles what some once called “good time old-time.” The BR Boys, however, distinguish themselves was excellent musicianship and an exquisite, unpretentious approach.


Stylistically the BR Boys come closest to bluegrass through the brother duets. Some of the best moments come with material like the Blue Sky Boys “Sunny Side of Life” or the Delmore’s “Broken Hearted Lover.” Thus several of the songs are common in bluegrass if not, as in the case of the title cut from Flatt & Scruggs, actually taken from the bluegrass songbook. Other sources range from singer-songwriter Ralph McTell to the Sons of the Pioneers.


Sheppard, owner of the eponymous instrument and repair shop, plays guitar and some fiddle, while Manring handles mandolin along with open-back banjo, resonator guitar, and guitar. They share the lead and harmony vocals. Although the CD contains no bluegrass, those who appreciate acoustic music played without artifice and pretense will enjoy Good Things.