Austin, Texas is where Jon Dee Graham was born and still calls home. Susan Cowsill a member of the Cowsill family called New Orleans home and now she seems to split time between New Orleans and Austin. Freedy Johnston originally from Kinsley, Kansas where there were no record or music stores when he was growing up, calls New York City his home now, though he spends much time in Austin. Somehow these three songwriters came together thus you have the group; The Hobart Brothers with Lil' Sis Hobart. The group got together in Austin back in 2010 to write songs about their early days when often they had to work in restaurants for things like rent. They took their name from the brand of dishwasher, Hobart, that is in virtually all commercial kitchens (I've seen them in restaurants I've worked in). It is a coming together of three skilled songwriters/singers that truly speaks to the quality of the songs presented on this disc.
The music is a rich blend singer/songwriter, rock and roll, and that amorphous blend we lump into roots, because it blends many genres, each touched by closeness to the Mexican border. They all take turns with singing lead, and each has a distinctive voice, with the lead singer often shifting in the midst of the song. To round out the band because a band of three predominately acoustic guitar players probably wouldn't draw much attention one or the other of them will often strap on an electric guitar. They enlisted Andrew DuPlantis the bassist from Jon Dee's band The Fighting Cocks and Susan's husband and former band mate in the Continental Drifters, Russ Broussard, to play the drums. The concentration here is on the quality of the songs and the singing, and not on what at times can be flashy, but meaningless, electronics. There is an overall acoustic feel to the disc; this does not translate to dull and quiet for those concerned with that. In a way it is a salute to all the people who serve us in the restaurants we choose to eat in, and what they have to do. There is an honesty to the songs that belies commerciality, but comes across well to those that are more concerned with truth than with glitz and flash. A great effort from three extremely talented songwriters.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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