[ Fig. 1: Middle Brother. Left to Right: John McCauley, Taylor Goldsmith, and Matt Vasquez. ]
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMY HOOD: Middle Brother at Detroit Bar
My sister and I headed up to the Detroit Bar to catch Middle Brother [fig. 1] last night. It was AWESOME. It's a supergroup of small rock/folk/indie bands. When I say supergroup, think Monsters of Folk (yay!), not Them Crooked Vultures (yawn). And like MOF, this band is made up of a plethora of amazing singers joining forces, sometimes taking the lead, other times taking turns backing each other, and at best breaking into three part gritty harmonies that would make even Stone Cold Steve Austin tear up (or at the very least make him want to join a folksy rock band).
[ Fig. 2: Johnny Corndawg. ©
Middle Brother is made up of Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes (yay!), Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit (double yay!), John McCauley of Deer Tick (Yeah 3x! [cue Chris Brown]), and on special occasion the hilarious musician/leatherworker Johnny Corndawg [fig. 2]. And I can't forget the drummer, Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes [fig. 3], who's game face rivaled any Billy Idol scowl. I like the way Rolling Stone described them as a whole: "This singer-songwriter summit... is an alt-country round robin, with raw harmonies and punk-rock sentiment as unforgiving as a prison shiv." Couldn't have said it better myself.
[ Fig. 3: Griffin Goldsmith. ©Jack Edinger
The album is really good. Seeing them live was even better. Which is almost always the case with a good rock n' roll band; They've got that energy, that stage presence, they love the live performance and they love the crowds. All of which seems to be very rare in pretty much all the bands today. Most of the bands I've seen recently either seem like they'd rather be surrounded by hot chicks in a hotel bar somewhere, or they are seriously lacking in talent without their production magic.
I also discovered a new act thanks to the show (which is one of my favorite parts about going to shows). The opening act was a guy named Jonny Corndawg and not only can he sing a country/rock/rockabilly song, he is one of the fines leatherworkers you've ever seen this side of the Mississippi. I'm pretty sure every member of Middle Brother was wearing a finely crafted leather belt with his initials in it courtesy of Jonny. Last night, despite suffering from a bleeding ear and horrible amp feedback, he won the hearts and minds of the Detroit Bar masses. You can see him below featured in the song "Middle Brother." Also check out his song at the bottom or google "Trash Day."
[ Bickering just like loving siblings. ]
And to close this blog out with a bang:
And I've said it for years now, but how much does my dear old friend Sean Murphy look like Matt Vasquez!? I think a DNA test is in order because they may be twins seperated at birth. Don't believe me from this photo [below]? Visit Sean at Kaylani's in San Clemente and see for yourself.
Here are some tunes for you.
Listening to: Middle Brother's "Wilderness"