Thursday, February 25, 2016

Brothers Brown – Dusty Road | Album Review (Release Date: March 28)

Brothers Brown – Dusty Road

335 Records

12 tracks / 46:49

When people talk about musical supergroups, it often conjures images of shredding guitar heroes and metal band members who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives now that the 1980s are over. This is not what we got with the Brothers Brown, a group of four supremely talented musicians who got together and recorded Dusty Road, an album of very tight and original American music.

It is better to get to the confusing part right away – the band is led by two guys names Paul Brown. The first Paul Brown is a Grammy winning Los Angeles-based producer, guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And Brother Paul Brown is a Grammy nominated Nashville-based producer, keyboardist, and songwriter. The backline is also from Nashville, and they are David Santos on bass (Billy Joel, Elton John, etc.) and Pete Young behind the drum kit (Loretta Lynn, Burrito Brother, and more). All four members get production and writing credit for the dozen tracks on their debut album, Dusty Road, which is scheduled for release on March 28, 2016.

Brothers Brown’s Facebook page says this is a blues band, but when they kick off their set with “Cup of Tea,” you will hear that it is not possible to shoehorn their sound into a single genre. With trick rhythms on the drums, classic organs sounds, jazzy piano, countrified lead vocals, and R&B backing vocals, there is a lot going on here. But there are a few things that are easy to define: these guys can write a slick song, and they are really good musicians. Things do not let up from here, as every other song on this disc as just as good.

There seems to be an equal partnership in this group. The Browns get frontman duty (of course) but we also get to hear how well Santos sings on the country-rocker, “The River,” and Young gets his turn behind the mic on the bluesy ballad, “Drink You off My Mind.” When trying to find a group to compare these guys to, I am at a little bit of a loss, but am going to go with Steely Dan. Why? Not because they sound like them, but because there is a bit of jazz in their sound, their lyrics are clever and cover a wide range of subjects, and they seem to have tried really hard to achieve perfection.

After hearing how tight the band is and how well this album is put together, it is hard to believe that each member recorded their own parts in their own studios, and shared their files for the final product. These guys sound like they have been playing together for years, which is a testimony to their talent and professionalism.

So, the Brothers Brown’s Dusty Road is a very good album, but where does the band go from here? As with many other supergroups, these guys already have active careers, and I have not heard of plans for shows or a tour. So, check out the album when it comes out on March 28, and like their Facebook page so you can keep up with what is going on with the band. Let’s hope they keep this gig going for a bit longer!

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