REVIEW: Darlin’ Brando Puts A Fresh Spin On Country With “Also,Too …”

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Darlin’ Brando is the pseudonym of singer, songwriter, and drummer Brandon Goldstein. On his new album Also,Too… Goldstein puts an original spin on some tried and true Country music themes and delivers a thoroughly enjoyable and fresh sounding record, his first.

On the opening number ” When You Don’t Fight,” Goldstein croons along with his wife (playwright Edith Freni),  over a vibrant steel guitar about the dangers of being married and not fighting. 

Imagine Conway and Loretta or George and Tammy two stepping across the dance floor together and singing these words : “It’s not about / Who’s wrong or right / And how you gonna make ’em see the the light / If you don’t fight” and you begin to get a glimpse of the magic of Darlin’ Brando.

Other highlights of this engaging record include the true-to-life “Those Old Demons,” the touching “Weeds and Flowers,” the Charlie Rich meets Jerry Lee Lewis meets Joe Ely scorcher “Last Call,” and the graceful “Crumbling Marriages” where Goldstein and Preni sing thankfully that “But we have something unique, don’t we baby? / Boundless love like ours will surely extend / Far, far beyond the crumbling marriages of our friends.”

On Also,Too… while the classic and familiar Country themes of love, marriage, temptation, and introspection about life are present, the fatalism and melancholy of an infinite number of Country songs and albums are not and that is refreshing in and of itself.

Goldstein with the songwriting help of his wife (and his mom and niece on one song) , manages to fuse Folk influenced lyrics with his upbeat Honky Tonk and Country and Western melodies to create a record that not only honors the sounds of the past but reinvents them for a  21st century audience.

All in all, Also,Too … is one of the best debut albums of 2020 so far.

Also,Too… by Darlin’ Brando on the label Darlin’ Brando is available on his website .

Credits: Darlin’ Brando – vocals, drums, Brian Clements – acoustic guitar, vocals, Adam Kurtz – pedal steel, Jeff Malinowski – bass, Storm Rhode IV – electric guitar, nylon string guitar, Ryan Payton – acoustic guitar. bass, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, vocals, Edith Freni – vocals

Produced by Darlin’ Brando and Ryan Payton, Mixed by Drew Carroll 

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