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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

7014 reviews in the archive.

Earl Brothers  Troubles to Blame Recording/Album Reviews

Submitted by Cousin Jack (see all reviews from this person) on 11/1/2007

Where Purchased: CD Baby

Overall Comments

This is the second studio album from the Earl Brothers, just as good as the first—Whiskey Women, and Death.

I heard the Earl Brothers for the first time on a local San Francisco Bay radio show. The thing that struck me about the music was that they sounded so close to the early original bluegrass traditionalists, but with their own edge. The Earl Brothers songs on Trouble to Blame are all original and have a toughened spirit that spoke of hardened hearts and drinking from long necked bottles with the bartender in a quiet dive bar while strumming on an old Fender guitar, telling stories of their bad luck with women.

They have often been referred to as a punk or goth bluegrass band most likely because of their raw and troubled lyrics. But don't let the punk or goth boiler plate make you think that they are just a bunch of young dirty haired, eye liner, and rapid nonsense. Instead imagine Bill Monroe with Ralph Stanley dressed all in black, singing songs about some of the tough days of their times.

The Earl Brothers are the real thing when it comes to bluegrass with unique melodic harmonies, slow pickin' banjo, heavy bass strum-flat pickin' guitar, frilling mandolin, and the tight upright bass. If you like straight talking songs and right to the point about the lost love and tough luck then this is a must have.

Check out samples of their music here.

Overall Rating: 10

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