Eric Burdon, Lost Brothers, Howlin' Brothers
Eric Burdon, Lost Brothers, Howlin' BrothersStage on Sixth Patio, Friday, March 15
If last year's SXSW announced the resurrection of Eric Burdon behind Bruce Springsteen's keynote praise, then this year cemented the comeback as the Animal and War monger returned with an impressive new album and unabated fire onstage. Before Burdon blew away the Sixth Street back alley though, Brendan Benson's new Readymade Records showcased two recent releases by bands of (nonrelated) brothers. Irish duo the Lost Brothers offered exceptional interplay between their acoustic guitars, building from deceptively simple folk structures with tight paired harmonies from their recent The Passing of the Night, while their cover of "Moon River" reinforced their affable Simon & Garfunkel style. Nashville trio the Howlin' Brothers meanwhile sparked the grass between fiddle, upright bass, and guitar, complete with a board for flat-footing given full effect. As much energy as the young stompers exuded, it couldn't compare to Burdon's epic emergence on "Spill the Wine," his sextet laying down funky blues as he rifled through hits including "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and "The House of the Rising Sun." Burdon's new material, first and foremost "Water" from 'Til Your River Runs Dry, was on fire, part and parcel of a cathartic, pounding set full of nostalgia, but not a lick of sentimentality.