Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
It seems appropriate to start a review of The Owsley Brothers by paying homage to the growing movement of lo-fi rock. Through necessity and an unwillingness to conform to commercial standards, lo-fi recordings have long been part of the blues and punk heritages. Modern bands that lean on the punk side are often called ‘garage rock’ and bands that lean on the blues side are usually referred to as ‘lo-fi rock’.
What was once an underground phenomenon with a do-it-yourself aesthetic, has gained world-wide exposure thanks to bands like The White Stripes and The Black Keys becoming household names.
The lo-fi concept is about encouraging experimentation, taking risks, and loving what you do. The Owsley Brothers hit all three points.
This local band is three members strong, crafting a unique bass-less sound. I scratched my head on that a bit the first time I saw them – I could hear something resembling a traditional bass guitar, but no one was holding one in their hands. From song to song Jerad and Brian tradeoff who plays the low sludgy riffs that would typically be played on a bass.
The Owsley Brothers are definitely on the blues spectrum of lo-fi, but there is something else just beneath the surface. The distortion in the vocals, the slow tempos, and the layers of guitar fuzz all lead me to think that the fellas have a love for 70’s rock. When they pulled out their version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ at a live show, it was a fantastic peak at what inspires them.
Whether you are a fan on the blues, 70’s rock, or lo-fi; The Owsley Brothers are a treat to see live. The unique guitar tones, the openness of the drumming, and the swirling distortions are best experienced live at full volume.