Artist: Brothers McClurg
Genre: Gospel, Roots Rock
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Standout Tracks: “Still”, “Hem”, “Lord Lord Lord”
In 2012, a worship band out of Buffalo, NY, released an under-appreciated LP. Join the Sound by Brothers McClurg was released with little fanfare and, as one might expect, performed poorly. Subsequently, they were released by their label, and they retreated back to Buffalo to regroup.
Fast forward three years. Chris and Anthony Hoisington, the brothers of Brothers McClurb, return to the scene with Home (and also a fine EP, Around the Mic). It represents a rededication to the legacy of music and their family’s musical heritage tracing back to The McClurg Family Singers (a southern gospel group led by Pastor Bill McClurg, their maternal grandfather). It’s not that the group had abandoned that sound for their prior album – it was just buried in arrangements.
With the marketplace seemingly flooded with other acts jumping in on the roots-driven country folk bandwagon made popular by the Civil Wars and Mumford &Sons, it is easy to be dismissive of yet another entry. But Home represents the elements one hopes for in good music: authenticity and familiarity without coming across as derived. Home will call to mind elements of The Eagles (think “Seven Bridges Road”), Counting Crows, Jackson Browne, and Gaither – all depending on the song.
The tone is set immediately with “Intro”, a 41-second mono track that emulates a person shuffling through stations on AM radio. It effectively sets you in the correct timespace for Home. This nimbly transitions into “Move Us On”, a gentle, tightly-arranged worship song featuring discerning touches of steel guitar. The pace picks up with “Still” and “Hem”, the stand-out tracks on the album – representative of the breadth of styles present on Home. Your toes will tap, and you quickly find yourself singing along.
Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of Brothers McClurg as evidenced on Home is their adept blending of the southern gospel of their heritage with touches of modern worship. It provides a bridge between generations that draws each to find a greater appreciation for the individual styles.
Of course, it’s impossible to ignore the quality of their execution. The harmonies are tight, the songs tastefully arranged, with obvious attention given to the overall flow from beginning to end.
In fact, the presentation is almost good enough to overcome a weaker second half. Not surprisingly, on a 14-track LP there are bound to highs and lows. Thankfully, the lows are only considered such in comparison with the strong first half of the album.
Home by Brothers McClurg is a fine LP of folk-driven worship music – probably one of the best of 2015. If there is justice in the world (and there seldom is in music), it will garner the attention and accolades it deserves. For now, allow us to encourage you to download a copy of your own. If you’re the skeptical kind, at least start out with downloads of “Hem” and “Still”. There’s little doubt you’ll be hooked from that point.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Frequency received this material free from artist or label to review. Frequency was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are those of Frequency. We disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”