Alternatively, for Southern Appalachian music the best thing I've heard so far is Southern Summits by fiddler Alan Jabbour and clawhammer banjoist Ken Perlman. It too was recorded in 2005. Instead of fiddle leading and banjo seconding, on this album the two instruments are working as equals - in sync and intertwined. Perlman's melodic clawhammer style may be innovative, but when played alongside Jabbour's stately fiddling it sounds like it was that way all along. As usual, Jabbour draws heavily on tunes learned from his mentor Henry Reed, but also brings in some from fiddlers Taylor Kimble, Edden Hammons, Vaughn Marley and more. Since I don't play fiddle or clawhammer banjo, or tune my tenor banjo to anything other than GDAE, it's not as easy to directly hone in on the lead melody as it's played here, but because the two instruments fit so well together, an outline can begin to be drawn by listening to both.
I like how each of these recordings stay true to their respective genres without trying to modernize the music in any way. In Angelina's case she's more concerned with well-paced, tasteful playing than an inundation of flashy notes. For Jabbour and Perlman, they sound like a couple friends playing music in a parlor rather than the driving, string band music you hear reverberating around festival campgrounds. There's something to be said for old school nuance and integrity.