The Howlin' Brothers

The Howlin' Brothers

From The Howlin' Brothers

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The Howlin’ Brothers have had a very good year, so far — especially for guys who’d previously spent the bulk of their time honing their craft in clubs like Layla’s Bluegrass Inn on lower Broadway and other small roots-friendly clubs in and around Nashville for the past five-plus years. Their first nationally distributed album, HOWL was released to critical acclaim, reached No. 6 on the Americana Music radio chart, and lead to them touring almost all over the U.S. and into Canada, as well. HOWL was produced by alternative rocker Brendan Benson (of the Raconteurs and solo career fame) and released in March via his independent label, Readymade Records in the U.S., and distributed by Thirty Tigers/RED. In Canada, it was released via Dine Alone Records in May, and distributed by Universal. In October, HOWL will be released throughout Europe via Continental Record Services. An Australian release is being planned as well. According to the trio’s stand-up bass player and vocalist Ben Plasse, “HOWL was very well received, and I think we owe a lot of that to great bands like the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Old Crow Medicine Show among others, who paved the way for a new generation of string bands to have success. It’s a beautiful thing to see so many young bands making music on fiddles and banjos! We are so grateful to be a part of that scene, and really appreciate the positive reaction to our original interpretation of these old styles.” In order to keep the momentum strong with their new fans between now and the released of their next studio album (which will again be produced by Benson) in February of 2014, The Howlin’ Brothers will release a fun EP of six songs they recorded in May of this year at the famous Sun Studio in Memphis, the Sun Studio Session EP. They recorded these songs live in the studio, as was the custom when Sun Studio gained fame for being the recording home of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich. In fact, the lead off track “Dixie Fried” (the lone cover on this collection) was co-written by Carl Perkins & Howard “Curdley” Griffin and released as a single on Sun Records in 1956. (Griffin also co-wrote the hit song “Boppin’ the Blues” with Carl Perkins that year.) The song has been re-recorded by Chris Isaak, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Jim Dickinson and others. Howlin’ Brothers banjo, fiddle, kick-drum, mandolin and vocalist Ian Craft explains: “We all searched the Sun catalog for a tasty song, and in my searching I found an awesome live clip of Carl Perkins rocking it on a live TV show. I was so impressed by it to learn it. With Matt Ross-Spang’s good ears and abilities behind the controls, I think we got an awesome Howlin’ Brothers style take on the tune.” Four Howlin’ Brothers original songs make their recorded debut on The Sun Studio Session EP: “Til I Find You,” “Troubled Waltz,” “Take Me Down,” and “Charleston Chew.” The EP ends with a new version of “Tennessee Blues,” which also appears on their HOWL album. It’s a killer, no filler collection that adds nicely to the story they are building and allows this “country-blues string band” with an indie-rock edge to honor the roots and tradition of the music they love as they continue to breathe new life into it by adding subtle modern touches via their own influences and vision. The legendary Sun Studio in Memphis is still a going concern. A tourist destination during the day — it is after all billed as “The Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll” — often at night it hosts sessions by some of today’s best up and coming acts. “Recording at Sun Studios was like going back in time,” says Howlin’ Brother Jared Green, who plays guitar, harmonica, piano and sings. “You can see and feel the history in the walls and floor of the tracking room. It was an honor to work with engineer Matt Ross-Spang and be captured with that authentic Sun Studios sound.” The Sun Studio Session EP will be released widely on all digital platforms outside of Europe and Australia on October 15th. It will be available on CD via the band’s web site and at its shows. A limited edition vinyl pressing will also be available through the web site and at shows and also through indie music stores taking part in Record Store Day on April 19, 2014. It will be released in Australia sometime in 2014, and in Europe next May in advance of the band’s touring there. PBS (in the U.S.) will air the entire Sun Studio Session episode and interview on over 100+ stations in early 2014. TRACK LISTING: Dixie Fried (2:23) Til I Find You (4:00) Troubled Waltz (3:20) Take Me Down (3:22) Charleston Chew (2:29) Tennessee Blues (4:19) Produced by The Howlin’ Brothers Engineered by Matt Ross-Spang Recorded May 17th at Sun Studio, Memphis, TN “Tennessee Blues” live from Sun Studio http://bit.ly/15zPgsh “Dixie Fried,” Carl Perkins live on Tex Ritter’s Ranch Party 1957 http://bit.ly/NPjpz2 http://deliradio.com/the-howlin-brothers http://www.TheHowlinBrothers.com TOUR DATES: Sun., Sept. 15, 6 p.m. NASHVILLE, TN The Bluebird Cafe Wed., Sept. 18, 10 p.m. NASHVILLE, TN Layla’s Bluegrass Inn Thurs., Sept. 19 NASHVILLE, TN Americana Music Festival & Conference: Layla’s Bluegrass Inn, 2-6 p.m.; The Highway Girl/Outlaw Magazine Party at the National Underground, 8 p.m.; The Basement (official showcase), midnight. Sat., Sept. 21, 4 p.m. OAK PARK, IL OakToberfest Sun., Sept. 22, 12:30 p.m. FESTUS, MO West City Park/Traditional Music Festival Sun., Sept. 22, 3:30 p.m. ELLIS GROVE, IL Fort Kaskaskia Traditional Music Festival Tues., Sept. 24 BUFFALO, NY The Sportsman’s Tavern Wed., Sept. 25 WOODSTOCK, NY The Bearsville Theater Lounge Thurs., Sept. 26 NEW YORK, NY Hill Country BBQ Fri., Sept. 27 SOMERVILLE, MA Johnny D’s Sat., Sept. 28 SELLERSVILLE, PA The Sellersville Theater opening for Robbie Fulks Sun., Sept. 29 WASHINGTON, DC Hill Country Live Thurs., Oct. 10 ATLANTA, GA Red Light Cafe Fri., Oct. 11 DAHLONEGA, GA The Crimson Moon Cafe opening for Woody Pines Sat., Oct. 12 CHARLOTTE, NC U.S. Whitewater Ctr. opening for Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott Thurs., Oct. 17, 8 p.m. NASHVILLE, TN The Station Inn Sun., Oct. 20, 7 p.m. TULSA, OK Mercury Lounge Tues., Oct. 22 THE WOODLANDS, TX Dosey Doe co-bill w/Wood & Wire Wed., Oct. 23 AUSTIN, TX Cactus Cafe co-bill w/Wood & Wire Thurs., Oct. 24 AUSTIN, TX Cactus Cafe co-bill w/Wood & Wire Sat., Oct. 26 JACKSON, MS Hal & Mal’s w/very special guests Sound Wagon Sun., Oct. 27 OXFORD, MS Proud Larry’s Fri., Nov. 1 EVANSTON / CHICAGO, IL SPACE Sun., Nov. 3 ROCKFORD, IL Severson Dells Nature Center Wed., Dec. 18 NASHVILLE, TN The Ryman Auditorium/Brendan Benson & Friends A FEW PRESS RAVES: “Not only do they cover their 21st century hillbilly string band bases - reels, fiddle tunes, bluegrass-style romps, etc. — they’ve brought raw-nerved rock attack back around to it’s full-bodied blues roots.” —Nashville Scene “Nashville-based outfit The Howlin’ Brothers take bluegrass and old-timey music as a starting point that allows them to rip into traditionally inflected tunes with a verve and energy that wouldn’t feel out of place on a rock ‘n’ roll record. This is acoustic music with one eye turned toward the past and the other squarely facing the future.” —PopMatters “HOWL proffers tunes true to the spirit of their inspirations without vein slavish imitators. Driven but not rules by skilled musicianship, they keep the rootsy waters churning without concern for winning Instrumentalist of the Year awards. Worrying less about authenticity than about being real, The Howlin’ Brothers make music that ignores trends in favor of timelessness.” —The Big Takeover “This is a group that knows the classic country repertoire from front to back, and are using their formidable talents to write tunes that inspire moonshine debauchery in the age.” —Turnstyled Junkpiled “The Howlin’ Brothers are poised for bigger things, and attention must be paid. ” —Deep Roots Magazine “Modern-day power pop icon Brendan Benson may not seem to be an ideal choice to produce a bluegrass band the likes of the Howlin’ Brothers, but the group’s 2013 set HOWL illustrates that Benson picked up a few tricks from his Raconteur bandmate Jack White. First of all, Benson keeps things simple and earthy, capturing the trio’s natural interplay but preserving just enough echo and air to give this a little bit of grit without ever seeming filthy. Nor do the Howlin’ Brothers seem well scrubbed, like so many groups do in the wake of the success of Mumford & Sons. They’re loose and lively, so when they swing into a bit of New Orleans R&B on “Delta Queen” it doesn’t feel forced, it feels like an outgrowth of the natural rhythms. When they incorporate bits of rock & roll and gospel, or when cut loose (“People Been Talking”), or lay back (“Just Like You”), they’re a compelling, muscled Americana outfit, given just the right showcase here by Benson." —All Music