Doug Flowers has contributed his talents as a sideman to several different artists such as Betty Fisher, Little Roy & Lizzy, and Clinton Gregory. Although Flowers has released a few solo projects over the last few years, Brothersville marks the official debut of the Doug Flowers Band, a solid combination of Georgia-based musicians.
The title Brothersville is symbolic of two different connections within the Doug Flowers Band. The group consists of two pairs of brothers, the Flowers (Doug on mandolin and Dwayne on electric bass), and the Lambs (Aaron on banjo and Joshua on rhythm guitar). Prior to 1870, the Flowers brothers’ hometown, Hephzibah, GA was actually a village called Brothersville. Nonetheless, it’s obvious just how much blood harmony plays a role in the group’s music. It’s particularly evident on Good Saddles Ain’t Cheap and I Don’t Want To Hear It. Doug and Dwayne have a tight vocal blend which is complemented by Aaron Lamb’s solid baritone.
Although not related to anyone within the group, Edward Dalton is also a member of the Doug Flowers Band contributing lead guitar throughout the project, as well as singing lead vocals on Preachin’, Prayin’, Singin’ and Teardrops In My Eyes. Brothersville Breakdown, written by banjoist Aaron Lamb, is the sole original tune. It’s a perfect straightforward piece that captures the instrumental talents of Lamb, Doug Flowers, and Edward Dalton.
Brothersville also contains two Gospel songs which feature some special guests. Mike Rogers, currently a member of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, lends his tenor vocals to How Great Thou Art, while bass vocalist Aaron McCune of Dailey & Vincent sings on both the aforementioned track as well as Preachin’, Prayin’, Singin’. Both pieces are a nice touch to this collection and Rogers and McCune’s appearances add great dimension to these songs.
Most of the nine tracks on Brothersville are more than likely known by most bluegrass and music fans in general, but the Doug Flowers Band have worked up their own great arrangements to songs such as Listening To The Rain, Ramblin’ Man, and White Freight Liner Blues.
Brothersville is a wonderful introduction to the traditional stylings of The Doug Flowers Band. It’s a short, yet promising debut project from a group of well-defined pickers and singers. It’s a great example of how the sibling dynamic can play a role within the making of really great music.