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Siblings in harmony

Special to the DailyBeth and Kort McCumber come from Boulder to the Old Dillon Inn for two shows this week.
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They played recently with bluegrass traditionalist Bobber Johnson, and their CD cover jacket features photos of mandolins, fiddles and guitars. But Kort and Beth McCumber do not play much bluegrass on their 2004 release “Until I Return.”Instead the brother-sister duo, which plays tonight and Saturday night at the Old Dillon Inn in Silverthorne, explores folk music, almost to the point of easy listening.

An interesting aside from the band’s press packet: The siblings both attended college on golf scholarships. Their uncle, Mark McCumber, played for years on the PGA tour and now competes on the senior tour. But instead of pursuing careers in the pressure-filled world of professional golf, the McCumbers followed a passion for music, which was cultivated as children from their mother, who is classical pianist.Now based in Boulder, they are cutting their teeth at clubs like the Old Dillon Inn, making their way with vocal harmonies and straight-forward, folksy songs.

The album is a collection of soft songs mostly about relationships gone awry. They exist in familiar folk places – hotel bars and the open road.The songs are lyrically benign, with stories that likely mean a lot to the writers, but don’t resonate much beyond that.



Beth’s lead vocal on “Goodbye Girl” is touching, and there’s a little good-bye in every song. Along with regret and loneliness, you wonder how many sad endings these two young musicians have endured.A fun departure is “O’Brien’s Dance,” an upbeat instrumental that pairs the fiddle and guitar in a bluegrass arrangement. Each McCumber takes lead vocals on different tracks, but they shine when harmonizing on choruses or through rounds that end some songs.


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