Howlin' Brothers, Daniel Romano, Max Gomez, the Vespers, and Delta Rae

Howl, Come Cry With Me, Rule the World, The Fourth Wall, and Carry the Fire (Readymade)

SXSW 2013 Records

Howlin' Brothers

Howl (Readymade)

Forget suspender folk. Howlin' Brothers use the same acoustic instruments as Mumford and their ilk, but musically this Nashville trio comes from a place much deeper and falls somewhere between Austin's Bad Livers and O Brother, Where Art Thou? backline the Soggy Bottom Boys. Demonstrating that their hearts are in the right places, they even blaze through a cover of John Hartford's "Julia Belle Swain." Too sloppy to be called bluegrass, Howlin' Brothers make a joyful ruckus. ***.5 (Wed., 9pm, Saxon Pub; Fri., 9pm, Stage on Sixth Patio)

Daniel Romano

Come Cry With Me (Normaltown)

Founding member of Canadian indie rockers Attack in Black, Ontario's Daniel Romano moves onto hardcore country. Filled with tears, beers, and chickens, Come Cry With Me sounds as authentic as George Jones, yet Romano's unsteady vocals undermine moments meant to be sublime. At times recalling the equally vocally challenged Gram Parsons, Romano shows off the ability to mimic the traditional, while not really capturing its essence. ** (Wed., 11pm, Velveeta Room)

Max Gomez

Rule the World (New West)

Hailing from Taos, N.M., 23-year-old singer-songwriter Max Gomez reaches for genuine meaning in Rule the World. Unfortunately, he sounds like a forlorn youngster wearing his heart on his sleeve. "I'd be the king, you'd be the queen," he croons on the title track, while "Run From You" details heartbreak we've all heard before. Bluesy stomp "Ball and Chain" has potential, and Gomez can pen a tune, but he needs loftier inspiration. ** (Fri., 8pm, Parish)

The Vespers

The Fourth Wall (Black Suit)

An unusual pairing, the Vespers are two sets of siblings, Callie and Phoebe Cryar, and brothers Bruno and Taylor Jones. As the name implies, the Nashville quartet sings of its Christian faith, but not to the point where it dominates their sound. While their naivete shows on the cutesy "Flower Flower," a mature voice breaks through on the more complex spiritual "Lawdy" and a devilish cover of Son House's "Grinnin' in Your Face." *** (Sat., 11pm, St. David's Bethell Hall)

Delta Rae

Carry the Fire (Sire/Warner Bros.)

A performance in the office of music mogul Seymour Stein led this North Carolina sextet to a deal with Sire. Fronted by siblings Eric, Ian, and Brittany Holljes, they make a bombastic brand of Americana typified by the now standard stomp and holler featured in "Bottom of the River." Finely tuned harmonies are ruined by generic, hyper-spiritual lyrics and overstuffed atmospheric rubbish. Over-earnest, juvenile, ready-made for a Disney movie. * (Sat., 11pm, Antone's)

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Howlin' Brothers, Daniel Romano, Max Gomez, the Vespers

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