The Howlin' Brothers

The Howlin' Brothers

some KIND WORDS from a music critic (re: HOWL):

"Of course, the quickest comparison one will make to the Howlin’ Brothers is Old Crow Medicine Show. They are the only other contemporary act to really ‘make it’ while putting out music in tribute to this dusty period of Americana. While that is a pretty easy bridge to build, the most interesting aspects of HOWL come from the ways in which this group deviates from the calculation. This is Old Crow Medicine Show for people that like a little more sweat on the microphone; the Delta Holler Funk, if you will. More than that however, the boys are willing to do a lot more playing around with influences on this record than one will typically hear in a ‘throwback’ record. You can hear elements of Jeff Tweedy (“Gone”), Dan Auerbach (“People Been Talkin’”), and even Dr. John with some dixieland brass (“Delta Queen”). Even when at their silliest, the brothers have something of interest driving the song (a Louis Armstrong scat vocal???).

As if any more proof were necessary, Howl‘s strongest moment comes at the point when the band deviates the furthest from what you would expect to hear. On “Tell Me That You Love Me”, the old country pickin’ is about the only old country aspect of the song. Combined with a modern pop song structure and off-the-wall haunting cowboy
vocal harmony in the background (that also happens to fit perfectly), this track is nothing short of fantastic. In other words, the music on Howl is about as forward thinking as any backwoods country record you will hear. The Howlin’ Brothers are using the Americana vehicle to drive something new without making it feel forced. They don’t sacrifice what makes roots music great, but they also avoid coming off like a cheap Wild West costume party. The result is one of the very few records so far this year that have me humming along after only a few listens. These songs will get stuck in your head, feet and ass quickly. For once, I’m actually thankful for it. This is one of those albums that has continually grown in my ear with each successive listen, signifying a work that is certainly more important than your standard revisionist heritage act."
- Chris Bell/Buzz And Howl (12.18) - The Best Americana Releases of 2013 (HOWL #2)

Sanctified Grumblers

Sanctified Grumblers write and play acoustic music in the vein of the old blues, jug band, and old timey traditions with a sprinkling of New Orleans rhythms. The trio was formed by Chicago musicians Rick Cookin' Sherry, founder of Devil in a Woodpile (Bloodshot Records) and uber-picker Eric Noden. Their music succeeds in the challenge of combining the sounds of music's pre-electric past with the narration of modern universal themes; tales of love, communication break-downs,
and good time grooves.

Between Noden and Sherry, Sanctified Grumblers' sound is formed from a mesh of finger picking resonator guitar, washboard, harmonica, 6-string banjo, and clarinet. The trio's third musical leg is alternated between the dog-house bass of Texas ex-patriot Beau Sample and the sousaphone of Mike Hogg.

The band's first release "no lie" was released in the spring of 2011. It contains seventeen acoustic cuts, sixteen of which were penned by the band. These sessions were greatly enhanced by the skills of friends Jim Becker (Califone, Iron & Wine) on fiddle, mandolin, and saw, Mike Reed (People, Places, Things) on drums, and Tom V. Ray (Neko Case, Bottle Rockets, Jakob Dylan, Devil in a Woodpile) on banjo and ukelele.

The band also performs behind delta blues legend Honeyboy Edwards and Chicago harmonica great Billy Boy Arnold.

Donnie Biggins

Donnie Biggins is a singer/songwriter from Chicago. When with a band, he performs with The Shams Band. When by himself, he performs as Donnie Biggins. He enjoys writing songs about his life and he hopes you enjoy what he has to share.



Who’s Going


Upcoming Events
Tonic Room