Album Reviews

The Hobart Brothers with Lil’ Sis Hobart – At Least We Have Each Other (Freedom Records)

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This is a feel good story demonstrating the power of fan support.  What began as a simple backyard songwriting session between Jon Dee Graham, Freedy Johnson, and Susan Cowsill blossomed into an album almost two years later.  The theme is shared experience, recounting their early days working in restaurants.  Hence the name Hobart is taken from the dishwasher brand found in most commercial kitchens.  The trio recruited Graham’s band mate, animated bassist Andrew DuPlantis and Susan’s husband, Russ Broussard on drums, to join them at SXSW 2011 and received boisterous response.  Building on this momentum, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording of the album with the same lineup.

Combining the pop sensibilities of Johnson and Cowsill with Jon Dee’s rock n’ roll attitude and searing guitar solos proves to be a recipe for success.  The three trade songs and lead vocals across tales of confused truck drivers, ornery cooks, and impatient waitresses to wandering, daydreaming thoughts. It’s an unpolished, no frills vibe laid down live in one or two takes.  Check out the rockers “Ballad of Sis” and “First Day on the Job” and settle into ballads like “Sodapoptree” to appreciate the range of these three gifted artists. 

– Jim Hynes

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