CD Reviews for 09/08/08 – Brothers & Sisters, Ben Weaver

Compact Capsules for 9/8/08
by Dan Ferguson

Brothers & Sisters
Calla Lily Music

Why mess with a good thing? With their sophomore album called Fortunately, the Austin-based ensemble Brothers & Sisters reprise the sun-baked early ‘70s California psych country vibe of their wonderful debut from 2006 to even poppier proportions. The combination of the satisfying sibling harmonizing of Will and Lily Courtney, guitars that ring with as much jangle as twang, and a flood of hooky songs makes for an irresistible blend of Left Coast dreaminess that leans to the edgy side of the Mamas and Papas. Highly recommended. (Visit

Ben Weaver
The Ax In the Oak
Bloodshot Records BS-156

The imagery in the songs of Ben Weaver is what attracts first, American gothic with an almost Twin Peaks-ish twist. He marries them to soundscapes at one moment sparse save for his uncluttered turns on guitar and at others mashing electronic noise with rustic comfort. It all makes for an offbeat, and if you’re up for the challenge, potentially alluring brew. Not even 30, The Ax In The Oak is already Weaver’s sixth recording. A former buzz boy, he’s found a comfort zone delivering songs and music as evocative as they are intriguing. (Visit

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)