Learn About It emits a vibe of cool that glides across the room like a ghost from Motown‘s past. The debut release by Austin’s T Bird and the Breaks is an old-school throwback to the era of James Brown and the Funk Brothers; eras that have been revisited and kept alive over the years by bands like the Blues Brothers, The Stray Cats, The Detroit Cobras, and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Gifted with a smooth Gen-X crooner delivery heavily dowsed in southern revivalist energy, T Bird (a.k.a. Tim Crane) leaps into the forefront with a delivery and enough vigor to pull even first time listeners into the sound. And what a sound it is. Backed by an 11 piece band, T Bird is secure in knowing he has a quality group of musicians following his every step.
When turning up the heat with the sexy simmer of “Esmerelda,” the full swing of the group comes across in the sharp corners taken by the three horn players. This energy immediately turns to cool by way of the ‘50s big band sound on “Blackberry Brandy.” The crooner slickness couldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the depth added by the backup singers who open up the chorus and leave a smile on the listener’s face.
Having only been together for a year’s time, T-Bird and the Breaks have taken the Austin music scene by storm, and thave placed second in the 2008 Austin Music Awards Best New Band category. The piecing together of this relatively new ensemble is mind boggling when one listens to the closing track, “Sunday on My Own.” If one were to hear this one track alone, it could be taken for a Stax outtake from a dusty album bin; the worldly soul that comes from that dust is a true compliment to T-Bird’s sound.
Learn About It is out now.