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Must be a thing about eponymous LP names this month for following The Faithful Brothers’ The Faithful Brothers, here’s news of Greybird’s Greybird – though it’s an entirely different kettle of fish. The band itself comprises members of both Austin, TX, band Greyhounds a.k.a. Anthony Farrell and Andrew Trube, along with T Bird & The Breaks’ Tim Crane and Sam Patlove – though it’s not quite your conventional band setup. Turns out that the lead singing and musicianship all comes from Greyhounds while the songs were penned by Tim ‘T-Bird’ Crane who also handled production with Patlove. It’s a combination that ends up positioning Greybird at a nexus of swamp rock and southern funk. Or maybe that’s swamp funk and southern rock. Guitar-heavy, with a singing style from Greyhounds’ vocalist more on a rock than soul tip this LP is nonetheless rhythmically funky for the most part – an ambiguity that gives the project it’s USP.

Opener Truth Inside is a case in point. If you’re familiar with the oeuvre of T Bird & The Breaks, you can imagine the song done with much more prominent horns and piano and female backing vox. In Greyhounds’ hands however it becomes a moodier affair verging on Black Pumas territory with, up next, Hard To Believe arguably even more southern rock in its execution. In contrast, third cut, Hold Out Your Hand is based around a straight up swamp funk percussion and comes on like something at the heavier end of Tony Joe White’s discography while slightly later, Syracuse Boots evokes Right Place Wrong Time-era Dr John. Elsewhere, another two for Black Pumas fans are Favorite and 5 In The Morning though the band switch things up again on Just Right. This one finds Greybirds at their grooviest and most 70s evoking all your favourite country funk cuts and (should Light In The Attic Records ever put such a thing together) surely deserves to be on a contemporary country funk album. Other highlights include the almost doo-wop-ish Baby This Is It – reminiscent of classic T Bird cuts like Justine – and closer Natty Rox which heads things out down a psychedelic highway.

Greybird may have put members of one of its constituent bands up front and members of the other largely behind the boards but the influence of each is very much in evidence. It’s a combo that ultimately results in a richly successful distillation of early seventies musical Americana with a contemporary twist.
(Out now HERE)

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