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Deadstring Brothers - São Paulo

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 23 / 9 / 2009

Deadstring Brothers - São Paulo
Label: Bloodshot Records
Format: CD


Rewarding mix of country rock and blues on third album from Detroit-based group, the Deadstring Brothers

Country tinged songs and blues infused rock ‘n’roll- the Deadstring Brothers originate from Detroit, Michigan, but play music that is more indicative of the southern states of the U.S. It is surprising to hear country rock sounds from a city better known for Motown as well as for loud rock ‘n’ roll. 'São Paulo', the Deadstring Brothers third album, recorded for Bloodshot Records is a solid outing. The band draws influence from a variety of sources including 'Exile on Main Street' era Rolling Stones. Their sound also brings to mind the Black Crowes with a touch of the Allman Brothers thrown in. The Deadstring Brothers music meshes the gritty blues of the Mississippi Delta blended together with the tough reality of the city of Detroit. 'São Paulo' is a fine mix of country rock, blues and straight ahead rock. The Deadstring Brothers are singer/ guitarist Kurt Marschke, drummer and fellow Detroiter Travis Harrett and from London, the Cullum Brothers- Spencer on guitar, pedal steel and slide guitar and Jeff on bass. 'São Paulo' showcases excellent guitar work, a powerful rhythm section and rich country rock sound. The band plays guitar based rock, but with sophisticated arrangements including the use of Hammond organ. The Deadstring Brothers draw on both the warmth of country ballads and the energy of rock and blues. 'São Paulo', the title track starts off acoustic and goes electric. It is a rocking blues based tune with strong slide guitar work and some dark lyrics. The evocative stoner sounding chorus washes over the listener: “Hey ma, come and hold me now/It’s getting dark as hell.” On 'Smile' a fine sound is achieved through the guitar work plus a gritty vocal. The band blends together perfectly. With 'Can’t Make It Through The Night' the band once again starts acoustic and then turns it up and goes electric. The song brings to mind a 'Torn and Frayed' or 'Sweet Virginia' off the Stones' 'Exile on Main Street'. The lyric is appealing: “Running straight into walls… holding on for dear life.” 'Adalee' is pure country rock. With powerful Hammond organ work, the music brings to mind the work of The Band, as the Deadstring Brothers continue to wear their influences on their sleeve. 'The River Song”'has a compelling guitar line and inspired organ riffs. 'São Paulo' features a combination of great musicianship and down home tunes. 'Yesterday’s Style', a country ballad. features some distinctive accordion work. 'Always a Friend of Mine' is a compelling song and the album closer featuring the sound of pedal steel. The lyric also stands out: “Some things will always shine/Some further on down the line.” On 'São Paulo' the Deadstring Brothers put together a rewarding mix of country rock and blues to achieve a sound that satisfies.

Track Listing:-
1 São Paulo
2 Smile
3 Houston
4 Can't Make It Through The Night
5 The River Song
6 Adalee
7 It's A Shame
8 The Same Old Rule
9 Yesterday's Style
10 Always A Friend Of Mine

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