Relative newcomers The Brothers and The Sisters launch their debut album (a self-titled affair) Saturday with a free show at Northside’s Mayday. The Guitars (who share drummer Matt Ayers with the headliners), 20th Century Tokyo Princess and Frontier Folk Nebraska also perform.
The Brothers and The Sisters feature singer/songwriter Jeremy Pinnell, whose work with The Light Wires and The Great Depression proved him to be one of the most soulful writers in the Folk/Roots arena. The songs are similar but presented in a different setting — instead of electric instruments or a stark acoustic-duo format, The Brothers and The Sisters use banjo, acoustic guitars and dobro (and drums and bass). Pinnell’s words mine a lyrical vein as old as the genre (think Leadbelly), with songs about love, pain, regret, death and drugs/booze, but his aching rasp gives them an old-soul authenticity that can’t be faked.
Pinnell has found beautiful counterbalance in co-lead singer Evangeline Bauerle, whose radiant, Emmylou-like harmonies shadow his melancholy voice on every track like a ray of hope, creating a magnetic dichotomy. There’s still an unavoidable streak of fatalism running through the album — the only trace of optimism is “Big Bright World” (“I’m a lucky one in this big bright world/I’m a lucky one when I’m holding you, girl”), but, appropriately, it is still a song about dying and being buried in an “unmarked grave.” Redemption and peace for the narrator only comes once his life is over.
Haunting and haunted, The Brothers and The Sisters’ debut is darkly stirring and, musically, the band creates a fitting backdrop, replicating the vocalized anguish with slow, sorrowful sonics and pacing. If you’re in need of a musical mood pick-me-up, look elsewhere. If you appreciate music that bleeds true emotion and cuts to the bone, look no further. (Get show details here.)
Fundraiser for a Friend
If you're a frequent attendee of local music shows, you’ve no doubt seen Pat Rice, the 65-year-old “superfan” who probably attends more music events than just about anyone and is beloved by the bands she consistently checks out. Local musician Chris Grannen (of the band The Pinstripes) captured the essence of Rice’s unwavering dedication in his excellent documentary film, A Queen City Girl: The Pat Rice Story, a school project that is now available to view and freely download here.
As I told Grannen during my interview for the film, Rice is the kind of supporter every true artist craves — she may not have disposable income and can’t make you a star, but if she likes you she’ll be at every show, offering encouraging words and a warm hug, and not just socializing or “making the scene.” Seeing Pat at your shows probably feels better than getting a glowing CityBeat review.
Rice’s support has always been reciprocated, something that will be on glorious display Wednesday at Covington’s Mad Hatter, when several bands perform an “emergency” benefit show for her. Rice recently lost her residence of the past few years and is without the money for a deposit on a new place to stay, so Duppy a' Jamba, The Frankl Project, Loudmouth, Rosemary Device and Hazle Weatherfield are performing a 7:30 p.m. show to lend a hand. Because they know she’d do it for them. (Get show details here.)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]