Album Review – The Howlin’ Brothers “Howl” (Bluegrass/Folk)

The Howlin’ Brothers “Howl” (Bluegrass/Folk)The Howlin’ Brothers are a three-piece string bluegrass band from Hermitage, Tennessee. This album has a perfect melange of original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of Ian Craft on slide banjo, Jared Green on Vocals and harmonica, and  Ben Plasse on upright bass. Their latest album “HOWL” produced by Brendan Benson (Les Raconteurs), was released by Benson’s label Readymade Records. Every song just wants me want to get up and get to a hoedown, the songs have a smooth, and at times have a haunting aura. This album of stunning acoustic folk-blues that has the absolute sharpest in terms of songwriting, and the arrangements, most often just guitar, upright bass, banjo, and fiddle  are fully fleshed out and never feel spare or slight. Track one from Howl is Big Time, which features Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes as a guest and co-writer- this song has a Muddy Watters feel to it. The Howlin’ Brothers speed things up with the quick-paced, barnyard burning “Julia Belle Swain”, before heading down to New Orleans with the sounds of “Delta Queen”. The Brothers breathe new life into Chicago blues singer Otis Smothers’ “My Dark Can’t Bark” and their moonstruck song “Tell Me You Love Me”. Although I’ve tried my best here to describe this fantastic album, like most bluegrass influenced music it is almost impossible to describe and just simply needs to be experienced. The Howlin’ Brothers’  through and throughout have an interesting modern twist to old fashioned bluegrass and is truly a gem.  4/5 Dragons

The Howlin’ Brothers Online – www.thehowlinbrothers.com/ and www.facebook.com/HowlinBrothers

– Review By Andrew Johnstone

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