The wind kicked up an endless barrage of ashy dust throughout Middle Brother's set as part of a talent-rich SXSW showcase at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas. The intrusion proved strangely appropriate: Middle Brother is all about kicking up dust — and, as "Blood and Guts" would indicate, pouring all its passion into harmony-rich roots-rock music. ("I want to sing with blood and guts," the song goes, in a line that's equal parts hopeful plea and mission statement.)
A supergroup featuring the leaders of three largely likeminded bands — Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith, Deer Tick's John McCauley and Delta Spirit's Matthew Vasquez — Middle Brother naturally takes on many incarnations: moodily brooding folk-pop, boozily spirited rock, spotlight-sharing roots music. Altogether, it adds up to roughly the sum of its parts, which makes both Middle Brother and this show function as something approximating all things to all its members' many fans.
Band Personnel: John McCauley - Guitar, Vocals; Taylor Goldsmith - Guitar, Vocals; Matt Vasquez - Guitar, Vocals; Griffin Goldsmith - Drums; Wylie Gelber - Bass; Tay Straythairn - Keyboards; Robbie Crowell; Keyboards, Saxophone