There is something so familiar about the groove in this record and at the same time, new, and very refreshing. The band wear their influences on their sleeves, certainly, Little feat with that southern funk is in the mix, a touch of Ry Cooder guitar, along with a soul sound informed with an easy going swagger. Perhaps it’s Joey’s voice, reminiscent of Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt that really sets the sound apart, but there is something quite distinctive in the Canadian band.
You know you have arrived when the aforementioned Bonnie Raitt, an impeccable barometer of quality and taste, chooses to cover one of your songs. Bonnie’s cover of the Brothers ‘Made up Mind’ was a high watermark on her recent ‘Just like that’, and the fact that Bonnie stays so close to the original arrangement of the song, speaks to the Brothers sheer musicality as well as to the quality of the writing.
First out single, The propulsive ‘Drive all Night’, is a cracking introduction to that harmony lead, soulful sound:
Oh, but if your hand finds mine, I can drive all night
The sun come up in the morning, and time is only ours to borrow
I’ll tell you this much, there will never be another
I loved you on that first day, you had me right from the start,
and though sometimes it feels broken, you still had my heart
Emotion dripping from every note on the keyboard led to some trademark guitar and slide. Six minutes slip by in a sumptuous symphony of sound. Wonderful!
So much to enjoy, and indeed revel in, on this classy collection. From the easy-going country ‘Shame’ to the laid-back, feel good vibe of ‘Stay’. There’s real depth to the lyrics. ‘You Don’t Know Me’ laments the death of a relationship in stark terms, over some quite lovely lap steel and soft brushed drums.
There’s real hope, a recurring theme on the album, in ‘After the Rain’
After the rain that sun will be shinning,
We’ll be dancing like fools underneath silver linings
All of the heartache and blame washed away,
I hope that the world ain’t the same, After the rain
‘What in The World’ is an earworm that has you singing along, gently, without you really noticing. Again the romantic idea has been around for such a long time, what would you do without that special person, but it is delivered with such carefully built simplicity, and style
‘Corduroy’ is another song of damaged relationships that the brothers do so well. ‘Back to Thee’ is a poignant and touching love song from Joey to his wife. It all seems so simple, but there are so many layers of sonic excellence built up to create such an exquisite sound.
‘Don’t Feel Like Crying Anymore’, features Leith Ross on a wonderful harmony vocal with Joey. A highlight on an album that is devoid of any padding, just quality.
The Brother’s first album, ‘Let it Lie’, won plaudits across the board including a Juno in their native Canada. Keep an eye on this band. If there is any justice in the world, this album should fly, and bring the band to an ever expanding audience of fans.