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The Hobart Brothers & Lil' Sis Hobart

At Least We Have Each Other (Freedom)

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

The Hobart Brothers & Lil' Sis Hobart

At Least We Have Each Other (Freedom)

Jon Dee Graham, Freedy Johnston, and Susan Cowsill are three very different singer-songwriters. Put them together and you get the Hobart Brothers featuring Lil' Sis Hobart, proof that what might look a bit curious on paper turns into something phenomenal on disc. Initially an exercise in writing songs about their early days working in restaurants, the disparate trio took the name Hobart from the commercial dishwasher. So there are songs about cooks and waitresses, like the epic "My First Day on the Job," but also bouncy pop in "I Never Knew There Would Be You" and "Ballad of Sis (Didn't I Love You)." What's most remarkable about the Hobarts is that there doesn't seem to be a dominant voice, whether Johnston and Cowsill are sharing the microphone or Austin's Graham is getting extra cranky on guitar. Further proof that egos left outside produce significant results. (Thu., 11pm, St. David's Bethell Hall, 1:30pm, Ballroom G Day Stage, Austin Convention Center; Sat., 11pm, Continental Club)

***.5

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