Although made up of singer-songwriters nowhere near as high-profile as those in the Traveling Wilburys (or even Little Village), the talent-rich Hobart Brothers & Lil’ Sis Hobart launched their intriguing, hope-challenged “At Least We Have Each Other” debut Tuesday.
The would-be “brothers” are Jon Dee Graham and Freedy Johnston; ‘Lil’ Sis’ is Susan Cowsill.
Graham is a wonderful songwriter, gravel-throated singer and powerhouse guitarist who’s been inducted into the Austin (Texas) Music Hall of Fame three times (as a solo act, with The Skunks, and with Alejandro Escovedo in The True Believers) and was named Austin’s Musician of the Year in 2006.
Rural Kansas native Johnston writes crisp, tuneful folk-pop miniatures; his “Bad Reputation” single and “This Perfect World” album earned him Rolling Stone magazine’s Songwriter of the Year in 1994.
Soulful Susan Cowsill hails from the ’60s family group that scored hits with “The Rain, The Park & Other Things” and “Hair” while serving as real-life models for “The Partridge Family.” She since has performed with retro-rocker Dwight Twilley and New Orleans rock super group The Continental Drifters along with her own bands.
It’s full of smart, engaging left fielders; do not miss Graham’s stomping, incendiary “All Things Being Equal.”