Jon Dee Graham, Freedy Johnston and Susan Cowsill, united as the Hobart Brothers & Lilâ€™ Sis Hobart, will release their long-threatened debut album, At Least We Have Each Other, on Freedom Records in CD, LP and digital download formats, with a street date of February 28, 2012. A limited tour is planned for spring.
The 10-song LP/CD/download release comprises seven songs from the most recent band recording sessions, plus three from the first, drumless, demo sessions. With every purchase of any format of At Least We Have Each Other comes a free download of the entire demo-session set.
The three singer-songwriters got together in an Austin backyard one afternoon in 2010 to write songs about their early days (yes, even Sue) working in restaurants. They took the family name Hobart, after the dishwasher found in nearly every commercial kitchen, and began to reminisce.
Over the next couple of months, they put together ten songs about cooks and waitresses and dishwashers, but also songs about Mexican-American truck-drivers, pleasant dreams had while living in your car, the collapse of the Texas cotton market, despair on a pay phone, unread letters and, of course, love.
The Hobarts recruited Andrew DuPlantis, bassist from Jon Deeâ€™s band the Fighting Cocks, and drummer Russ Broussard, husband and band-mate of Ms. Cowsill, and played SXSW 2011 to a tremendous response. The band then pursued a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording of At Least We Have Each Other at Top Hat Studios in Austin.
The finished album provides a rare glimpse of what three unique and talented artists might come up with when they think no one else is listening. The songs were recorded live with one or two takes, and there is a resonant honesty and completeness to them.
About the Hobart Brothers & Lilâ€™ Sis Hobart:
Jon Dee Graham was named Austin Musician of the Year at SXSW in 2006. He was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame three times: as a solo artist in 2000, in 2008 as a member of the Skunks, and in 2009 as a member of the True Believers. Graham has released seven albums and was the subject of a DVD called Big Sweet Life: The Songs of Jon Dee Graham. In August 2008, Graham underwent emergency surgery after being injured in a one-car accident. His current album is aptly titled Itâ€™s Not As Bad As It Looks.
The New Yorker cited Freedy Johnstonâ€™s â€œfinely wrought, melancholy character studiesâ€ as one of the calling cards of 2010â€™s critically acclaimed Rain on the City album, his twelfth. According to SPIN, â€œJohnstonâ€™s characters always make a deep impression.â€ He has been recording since 1990â€™s debut The Trouble Tree on Bar/None. In 1994 he hit with â€œBad Reputationâ€ from his Elektra album This Perfect World, and Rolling Stone named him â€œSongwriter of the Year.â€
Susan Cowsill was born into show business as a member of the Cowsills, who hit with â€œThe Rain, The Park & Other Thingsâ€ and â€œHairâ€ in the late â€™60s. In the â€™90s, she joined forces with Peter Holsapple and Vicki Peterson to form the Continental Drifters, and migrated from Los Angeles to New Orleans. In 2005 she released her first solo album, Just Believe It, concurrent with losing her brother Barry and her house to Hurricane Katrina. Her current album Lighthouse, called â€œan earthy, often crunchy folk-pop gemâ€ by Rolling Stone, reflects upon these experiences and features guest spots from Peterson, Jackson Browne, and former Cowsills session player Waddy Wachtel.