Brothers Keeper is a part of the ongoing exposition of what The Allman Bros. and CSNY spawned, here with elements of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Stanley Band, Crazy Horse, Sea Level, the old Capricorn label, and similar ventures thrown in for good measure. The baseline, though, is markedly on the mellow folky side, chartworthy to a fault—if the charts ever happen to wise up, that is—groovin' a la Josh Rouse or Pat McGee with more street level accents above. What I first expected was either an eerie experiment in dark South 40 lament—the cover art is spooky, and neither the CD nor the promo give any clue as to what a 'Todd Meadows' might be—or else rip roaring. It's neither, instead extremely pleasant, vocals dominated (no less than 5 lead singers!, plus great backing vox), and easy on the ear while invigorating.
Right off the bat, my favorite track is Cold Rain, a cut crossing Southern with soul with blues with rock with John Popper's frenetic harp work and DJ Logic's scratchin'. Of the several eminently chartable cuts, this one stands out rather handsomely, something Dan Fogelberg would dig as well as Gregg Allman. Members of the band have worked and toured with Hall & Oates for 15 years, and cats from Ween and Phil Lesh & Friends sit in, so we're talking road and studio vets here. Todd Meadows is not a CD that stands out as landmark or highly inventive, it's not meant to, except through rather exemplary MOR / AOR work. Not every disc ever issued is s'posed to blow your brains out or twist conventions to the Nth degree, some just revel in forwarding a genre by cleaving to its standards, and that's what's happening here. Good solid musicsmithing for car, work, or home…and I doubt a beer or two would be out of place while listening by the hearth fires.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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