Sunday, September 29, 2013

BROTHERS ->SISTERS: Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and Sisters: One Night

What better way to transition from “Brothers” to “Sisters,” than to write about a band named Brothers and Sisters, which features an actual brother and sister? I mean, I could have written about the Allman Brothers’ amazing, hit-filled album Brothers and Sisters, you know, the one with “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica,” among others, but someone already did that.  So, instead, let's discuss a quality obscure band.

Brothers and Sisters was formed by Will Courtney, the son of Cynthia Clawson, a Christian music singer, and author Ragan Courtney. Born in Nashville and raised mostly in Texas, Courtney moved to Los Angeles, where he performed and became steeped in the classic Southern California country/rock sound. He returned to Austin and formed Brothers and Sisters with his sister Lilly. The band released two albums, the self-titled debut, which included today’s featured song, and a followup, Fortunately. These guys are right in my wheelhouse—at least one of my wheelhouses—with songs that are reminiscent of bands like the Jayhawks, Byrds, the Band and, not surprisingly, the Beatles and Beach Boys. “One Night” is a loping rocker, with a definite Jayhawks vibe, featuring lead vocals from Will and harmonies from Lilly. There is something about siblings singing together that is special (assuming, unlike me and my siblings, that they can actually sing….) Although the band is no longer recording (it seems that Will Courtney has embarked on a solo career), they are worth checking out.

Coincidentally, on Friday night, I saw a really nice show at the Tarrytown Music Hall—Alejandro Escovedo opening for Shelby Lynne. Escovedo, who is one of my faves (and who deserves his own post at some point) comes from a musical family—his brothers Coke and Pete were in Santana, his brother Phil is a bass player, brother Javier played in punk bands and with Alejandro in the True Believers, and brother Mario was the leader of The Dragons (which also included Javier). And let’s throw in Pete’s daughter Sheila E. and Alejandro’s son Paris, who has his own band. There are more musical Escovedos out there, but let’s stop here. Shelby Lynne’s sister Allison Moorer, who is married to Steve Earle, is somewhat less known than her sister, but as I can attest, having seen her open for the Drive-By Truckers, puts on a hell of a show herself. Here’s a video of the sisters singing “Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister)” from the soundtrack to The Color Purple at a show in Tarrytown in 2010 that I did not attend. But the guy who took the video seemed to enjoy it.

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