A Date With the Everly Brothers

When ’50s rockers gain traction among young’uns, it’s usually because they represent the rebelliousness that historians often associate with the era, but that seldom translates in the malt-shop hits still heard on oldies radio. Recent examples include most-exalted badass Johnny Cash and feisty growler Wanda Jackson. The Everly Brothers are a harder sell, but the Chapin Sisters—two Brooklyn gals whose daddy, Tom, and grandfather, Harry, you might know—are pretty convincing. On this tribute set, Abigail and Lily prove impeccable harmonizers, and like She & Him, whom they’ve backed on tour, they tackle Eisenhower-age music with a fizzy, slightly ironic, mostly reverent spirit. For as square as they look in old press photos, the Everlys were mean singers with a knack for country, pop and rockabilly, and on tunes like “Sigh, Cry, Almost Die” and “Some Sweet Day,” the Chapins really swing. It’s enough to get neo-greasers tapping their motorcycle boots, but even those less predisposed to digging ’50s sounds will come away from this album with a new appreciation for the Everlys. They were hokey one minute and heartfelt the next—multidimensional, like the decade they represent.


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