The Wheeler Brothers – Portraits

There are few times when I listen to just a minute of a new band and instantly dig it. It’s rare. Mostly because I can harshly judge a band or artists sound within the first minute. In fact, I like to listen to the first 20 seconds and work from there. With this bummer of a statement made, it’s been a while since this effort turned out well for my aural pleasure. Thank you, Wheeler Brothers. You succeeded!

I usually focus mostly on Nashville-based bands due to well…living in Nashville. Duh. But I’ve been so struck by these dudes that I feel I should make it happ’n. Capt’n? Eh.

Back to the music at hand, with the Wheeler Brothers coming to America’s ears by way of Texas, and a release of their debut album “Portraits” just June of last year, these fella’s are relatively new in this vast pool of musical talent. But they have a sound so mature and stable, as if veterans in their field. I appreciate that. It’s clean, real, and plain ‘ol folk rock. It’s straight-forward, while smooth vocals and dynamics cause a sense of contentment and joy to overcome the listener. It’s sit on your porch music. It’s become my drive through the Tennessee mountains soundtrack. That’s killer.

The first song I listened to (and therefore hooked me in) was the title song of the debut “Portaits.” I love a journey…in song form. We start simple as an acoustic strums into the airwaves a sense of comfort. Head bobs and smiles then lead us on the road from verses to the instrumental chorus; sweet harmonies sitting shotgun. Dynamically, the wordless chorus brings forth a sense of grit and grim…as any real journey would. Back and forth we move from smooth to grit, along a bumpy road, but all the while soothing. Once the wordless chorus rings in actual words, a heavier guitar and vocal make us wonder what is next. Why not mallets? Sure! Guitar solo? I don’t mind! A build in music builds our thoughts that this song is well…good. A good song ending with none other than my favorite: vocal harmonies. Bing. Bang. Boom.

And that’s not even all. The Wheeler Brothers are everything I needed more of these days. And that is something reflecting on downhome pleasure while reinforcing hope in stellar music.


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