An impressive follow-up to their widely acclaimed debut, the Howlin’ Brothers’ Trouble offers anything but trouble for those who latched on to their rudimentary style early on Though it’s only their second full-length effort thus far — a stopgap EP entitled The Sun Studio Sessions came out late last year — it finds the band offering definitive evidence that there’s was indeed good reason for the rabid acclaim they’ve reaped over the past year.
Still, Trouble does offers some irony– after all, here’s a band that hews to a traditional template and makes no obvious effort to acquiesce to current tastes or trends. And sure enough, tracks like “Pour It Down” and “Yes I Am!” sound like nothing so much as a rustic back porch ramble comprised of traditional tunes, vintage musings and unearthed antiquities freshly pulled from a some kind of musical time capsule. The band adroitly shifts from blues to bluegrass to folk with finesse, and even a Dylanesque interlude like “Sing A Sad Song” finds an appropriate place in the mix.
A wild and sometime raucous romp of an album, Trouble provides music that’s timely… and timeless as well. If authenticity breeds admiration, then Trouble clearly affirms the fact that the Howlin’ Brothers have all the credence needed.
– Lee Zimmerman