Photo by Jody Domingue
There’ve been a lot of real-life brothers in rock ‘n’ roll: Ray and Dave, Duane and Gregg, Angus and Malcolm, Eddie and Alex, Liam and Noel, and the list could go on. Even when they don’t exactly get along, there’s some ineffable musical connection that only blood allows. That’s sure holds true for Texas’s own The Wheeler Brothers. The band is three brothers, two buddies, and together they make a sound that’s part alt-country, part pop, part rock ‘n’ roll and all Texan.
The brothers Wheeler, Nolan (guitar, vocals and piano), Tyler (bass) and Patrick (drums), started jamming with friends Danny Matthews (guitar and vocals) and Danny Matthews (lap steel, guitar and vocals) in high school. But it wouldn’t be after college, when the band regrouped in Austin, until they really started to gel. Ray Benson’s Texas-roots imprint Bismeaux Records imprint scooped up the band, and released their debut full-length Portraits in 2011. The record showcases the band’s strong affinity for big, stadium-ready alterna-pop (a la Coldplay) and their uncanny ability to flavor it with Texas folk and country.
The band continues their Texana-pop campaign with an upcoming record called Gold Boots Glitter (out April 2). The record’s lead track is a tune called “My Time.” The song starts simply enough with ukelele and vocals, but it really moves. The beat is made for toe-tappin’. Little stabs of electrified pedal steel adds some very cool dynamic tension to the gentleness of the uke strumming. When they kick into rock mode, it’s a thing of beauty from these Texan brothers in arms.
You can catch The Wheeler Brothers at SXSW:
Wed, 3/13: Wheeler Brothers Gold Boots Bash, 5 p.m.
Wed, 3/13: Lone Star Music Showcase, The Blackheart, 11 p.m.
Thu, 3/14: KUTX Live at the Four Seasons, 7 a.m.
Thu, 3/14: Americana Music Association Showcase, Antone’s, 4 p.m.
Thu, 3/14: Grammy Block Party, Four Seasons, 6:15 p.m.
Fri, 3/15: Texas Music Magazine Party, Scholz’s Garten, 1 p.m.
Fri, 3/15: Live on KDRP “Hill Country Live,” Threadgill’s, 3:30 p.m.
Sat, 3/16: ACL Moody Theatre, 6 p.m.