T Bird & the Breaks

Texas Platters

Phases & Stages

T Bird & the Breaks

Learn About It

Even with the ongoing soul revival, no one's mined the blue-eyed variety represented by shouters Eric Burdon, Mitch Ryder, and Delbert McClinton. With 11 members, Austin's T Bird & the Breaks work that vein to the utmost, from the cry and croon of vocalist Tim Crane (T Bird, get it?) and sultry female vocalists to blaring saxophones and an on-the-one rhythm section. Also surprising is that Learn About It, their debut, is all originals, shot through with funk grooves and gritty atmosphere that would make Wilson Pickett proud. The strutting "Stand Up," shake and stutter of "Juice," and the bluesy, straight out of Muscle Shoals "Blackberry Brandy" are diverse enough to make Learn About It a constantly surprising listen. At only nine tracks, it's over too soon, but James Hunter and Dap-Kings aficionados take note: Here's an Austin band you're going to love. (CD release: Saturday, Jan. 31, Continental Club.)

***.5

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