Darin & Brooke Aldridge Add Edge to Bluegrass Sound on 'Flying'

Aldridge Band

Husband and wife duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge have carved out one of the fastest rising careers on the acoustic music scene today. The North Carolina-based duo have garnered nominations for their music from the IBMA as well as SPBGMA. Their latest album, "Flying," is aptly titled, as it represents a slight shift in their musical sound. While the disc certainly would be welcome in any bluegrass collection, the couple ventured into the Americana waters a bit for their latest musical endeavor.

"It's something we've been wanting to for awhile as artists in the bluegrass field," Darin Aldridge told Billboard. "With the growth of Americana music, and the way that festivals were going today, we  wanted to put out an album that was really versatile – one that had some country, some Americana, but also had some of our grass roots influence to it. So, that's what we did."

What are the differences in the sounds on "Flying" as opposed to their past works? "It's a little bit more edgy, I guess," he says. "We added percussion to all the songs, which is not the rules in bluegrass, you know. We wanted to do that, and with the songs on here, it really added a lot to have percussion on here."

However, don't think that the couple is completely changing their style. Their light and easy approach to love and life remains very much intact. "She and I have always set out to have a real positive message in our albums and songs, and what we stand for as a couple. There's a lot of love songs, and ones about faith, and friendships. That's what we've been pinned as over the years."

And, if you're a longtime fan of their music, the slight change in sound will not surprise you at all. "I think a lot of folks have expected us to take this route with our music, because we've kind of been edgy with our bluegrass sound. Brooke came from more of a country background to Nashville Star, and I came from the Country Gentlemen. All the influences we've had, we just wanted to put those together. That's what we tried to do with this record."

One cut of particular interest on Flying is the soaring "Love Speak To Me," which was co-written by their fiddle player, the incomparable Becky Buller, along with Jimmy Fortune and Jeff Hyde. "They had just written the song about a couple of weeks before Becky brought it in," said Darin. "I told her we needed to do it. She said ‘Let me call Jimmy to make sure nobody's got dibs on it,' and then she said ‘Go at it.' It's been getting a lot of great reviews, and has been really well-received."

Brooke shines in the spotlight on Nanci Griffith's "Outbound Plane," which was a top ten country hit for Suzy Bogguss in 1992. "I've always loved Suzy's version of the song," said Brooke. "I mentioned to Darin that I would love to do that one. We tried it, bluegrassed it up a little bit, added the drums to give it more of an edgy sound for what we were trying to do with our music. It's perfect. It really turned out great."

So far, the Aldridges have found the Americana world to be very receptive to their music. "So far, from what we can tell, everyone has loved the project," said Darin. "They have really embraced our sound, which we are grateful for."