Mean Mary & Frank James, The Brother Brothers, And Red Herring

I don’t recall ever having a weekend with so much music as the one from two weeks ago: three different concerts in three different days, with my first open mic in between, just to shake things up. Although I easily spend a whole weekend at a jam, or festival, this was something else.

Mean Mary & Frank James

On Thursday the concert took place at the café De Ouwe Hoer which, out of curiosity, is Dutch for The Old Whore. We went there to watch Mean Mary & Frank James, a sister and brother duo who play folk/bluegrass and Civil War era music.

The place looks bonkers, but in a good way. Dark colours and all sorts of cool goth-style stuff hanging around, fake heads of animals all over the walls, paintings of naked ladies, even a creepy sculpture that I can only name “emo Jesus”. (You can check my Instagram for pictures.)

The concert was pretty good, and damn, did they know how to tame the ever so difficult bar crowd.

I had only checked a few of their videos on Youtube days before the concert, but we had a great time over there.

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 The Brother Brothers 

I am still baffled by the fact that these two guys didn’t even sell out the small venue where the concert took place, De Oude Kerk Charlois, in Rotterdam. They are f*cking amazing, and they had a small tour in the Netherlands last month. To be fair, I had never heard of them before I was invited to the concert, but when I listened to their songs they reminded me a bit of The Milk Carton Kids, who I love.

They’re two twin brothers (last name Moss, not Brother), who play guitar, fiddle and cello, and harmonise beautifully. Their songs are soft, and melancholic, perfect for rainy days and somber spirits.

I met a few people from the Bluegrass group I’m part of at the church, and since they knew the organisers of the event, we had the luck to jam with the brothers after-concert. One of them played my guitar, since I couldn’t keep up with the jam anyways, and I’m still screaming internally about that. They asked us not to share videos of the jam, so here’s a small bit of the beautiful concert.

Their EP is only six songs long, but worth listening to.

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Red Herring

I could say that I am biased towards this band, since I’ve had the luck to meet its members, but it’s not a bias that makes me say that they’re so damn good. It always amazes me how many instruments each of them can play, and how easily they go from one to the other in different songs, and oh em gee, the freaking harmonies!

I had seen them perform before, back in April, at a small concert they gave for the Boet ‘n Deure Snarenpluk Festival, but this was the first time I had the chance to see a full hour concert, which took place at Het Heerenhuys, in Rotterdam.

The venue was beautiful, the concert sold out. They brought the house down on a warm Sunday morning!

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As mentioned above, I’ve also attended my first open-mic that weekend, at the Hostel Room Rotterdam, and I’ll write about that very soon!

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