#SupportPGHMusic // Exclusively on HughShows Radio streaming at the bottom of the page, enjoy the entire December 13, 2014 concert of HughShows Live at Eide’s Finale featuring mini sets from acoustic and solo versions of my favorite Pittsburgh bands during the marathon 6 hour concert. //

“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???).”

The Howlin’ Brothers is an ‘old-timey’ bluegrass trio that return to Pittsburgh on Thursday at the Thunderbird Cafe behind their latest release “Trouble“. I want to thank Ian Craft (Banjo/Fiddle/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

Michael Jackson “Thriller”.

Your last album bought?

The Sanctified Grumblers.

Favorite album of all time?

“Red Headed Stranger” Willie Nelson, “Graceland” Paul Simon, “Gumtree Canoe John Hartford.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

Hmmm…

First concert attended?

BB King with Buddy Guy.

Last concert?

Doc Watson at the Ryman.

Favorite concert ever?

Willie Nelson.

Least favorite concert?

Love all of them so far!

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

Love Pittsburgh! Our good friend buddy Nutt lives there and that’s a great thing when we get to see him! Also the food is awesome!

Thanks, Ian. The Ryman must be a magical place. Several people’s fave show happened there.

The Howlin’ Brothers Thunderbird Cafe
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 Larryville

“The Howlin’ Brothers are a three-piece string band that brings heart and passion into every performance. Their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle. The Howlin’ Brothers are bringing their show all across America in 2013. Their latest album “HOWL” produced by Brendan Benson will be available March 5th, on Benson’s label Readymade Records.”

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook and Twitter. They stop in Pittsburgh tonight at the T’Bird supporting their latest release, “Howl“, via Readymade Records. My thanks to Brother Ben Plasse (Upright Bass/Banjo/Vocals) for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

The Beatles’ “White Album”. My brother Sean played it for me, and when he went away to college I needed my own copy.

Your last album bought?

“Beaver Hunt”, by Arsenal.

Favorite album of all time?

I couldn’t pick one really, but because it was my Mom’s favorite album, I’ll say “American Beauty” by the Grateful Dead. Lots of good memories of mama cookin’ up chowder in the kitchen and singing along. I love stuff that bridges the gap between acoustic music and rock and roll.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

I don’t wanna’ put down anyone else’s work. It’s like kicking their child or puppy, haha.

First concert attended?

Paul Simon. I was six years old and had just started taking piano lessons. My parents are pretty cool.

Last concert?

Doc Watson. Ian’s sister Danielle took all 3 of us to see Doc right before he died. It was amazing. Doc is probably the one I’d pick if I was on a desert island.

Favorite concert ever?

Doc, again. I had just joined the Howlin’ Brothers, so I was already on cloud nine, and he was just so pure and full of love. Nothing fake or pretentious or overly flashy. And he laughed when they screwed up! That’s so important, to be relaxed and enjoy the pureness of what we do.

Least favorite concert?

Again, I don’t wanna’ put anyone down. There’s all kinds of reasons a show can be bad. I’ll leave that to the critics.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

I spent a thanksgiving there once on tour, and a friend of a friend let us come ver for family dinner. They had a huge collection of ukuleles! It was a lot of fun trying to learn a new stringed instrument. Many things to be thankful for!

Thanks, Ben. Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh. I’ve spent all mine here so I can relate.