From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Howlin' Brothers at Hill Country, NYC

I remember thinking as I walked into Hill Country in NYC, this is a good place to have in your neighborhood. A Texas BBQ restaurant/market upstairs, where you can buy your meat of choice one piece at a time, and downstairs a bar/restaurant/club all in one. Works for me.

This night it was all about the music. The Howlin' Brothers were in Manhattan for one night and no way would I miss it. The first time I heard their new album, Howl, I felt in my gut they were destined to break out "Big Time." Right before Howl's release, I was able to talk with Jared Green, the guitar/harmonica playing third of the Brothers, about their beginnings, and excitement over a new release. Soon after, they traveled to Austin for SXSW where they played 13 shows and garnered enough buzz to pick up a large amount of good publicity all around the country.

Taking their positions on stage, Ian Craft (banjo/fiddle/mandolin) on the left, Ben Plasse (upright bass) in the center and Jared Green on the right, they launched right into "Big Time." That's when the howling began, and that's also when my foot started tapping. The howling stopped, my foot did not.

Unassuming and very laid back, the Howlin' Brothers have taken the good stuff from blues, bluegrass, Americana and roots, and mixed it into a concoction of sweet pickin' and savory fiddlin'. As a band, they have been together since their college days in Ithaca NY, they have a real deep comfort zone and can pull out some old chestnuts as easily as introducing their new stuff.

Alternating vocals between the three, Ian Craft offers the sweetest sound, while Jared and Ben bring the necessary old-time timbre to their newgrass sound. At one point an old friend Ben Nugent joined the trio, picking up the violin, allowing Ian to add in some banjo. Jared livened up the set with his simultaneous guitar playing/dancing both onstage and down the aisles. And while a square dance might have been a good accompaniment, it was waltzing that was encouraged by the band... and damn if there weren't several couples willing to oblige.

The Howlin' Brothers are making their way around the country, working the press circuits, radio stations and the clubs. Working hard at making music with substance. Seeing them is nothing but fun. Seeing them in venues this intimate is only going to happen this time around. Destiny is calling and she's telling the Brothers they're about to take a much faster ride. Don't miss the train if it's in your town. But don't listen for wailing of an engine's horn. The sound you'll hear is a little more like howlin' at the moon.


1 comment:

  1. nice venue,food is good&the boys good pickin music.will see them again if they are in town