Photo via @AllSONGS
Oh stepbrother, where art thou? Of the many hats worn by veteran entertainer John C. Reilly — actor, producer, comedian, screenwriter — perhaps his least-known/best-hat is the white felt Stetson he dons when picking and a-grinning his way through old timey American roots music with like-minded sidekicks Becky Stark and Tom Brousseau, each accomplished singer-songwriters in their own right, and upright bassist extraordinaire Sebastian Steinberg. Tonight, JCR and company will gather around the World Cafe Live campfire and deliver an unplugged set filled with eternal folk songs, classic country weepers and bluegrass standards. Becky Stark is an L.A.-based artist singer-songwriter and lead vocalist for post modern popsters Lavender Diamond. The New York Times described her as “Lucille Ball and Tinkerbell engaged in a duet” and likened her to an impish fairy from a faraway land.” So there’s that. As for Tom Brousseau, ‘if David Lynch was an alt-country singer’ may not be the most original comparison in the post-Wilco world, where many a scarf-wrapped ragamuffin undergrad strums the sepia-toned magic-realism blues in the hopes of attracting the attentions of the fair maidens of academia. But when Tom Brosseau opens his mouth to sing, it becomes immediately clear the stakes are much higher than birdoggin at Starbucks, and that this man is playing for keeps. His music is very gentle — and kinda spooky, in a pretty way — but if you listen close can you hear the hellhounds on this man’s trail. No wonder he sounds like he crawled out from the covers of a Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music, like a frozen caveman slowly thawing in the hot, hot heat of the dirty future. Hurry, before he melts.
We have a pair of tickets to give away to some lucky reader who can answer the following John C. Reilly trivia question: In Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby JCR’s character Cal Naughton Jr. says he like to think of Jesus with giant eagle wings singing lead vocals for _____ and Cal is in the front row, “hammered drunk.” What is the name of the band Jesus sings lead vocals for in Cal’s fantasy? Send your answer in an email to FEED@PHAWKER.COM along with your full name and a mobile number for confirmation and the magic words OH STEPBROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? in the subject line. Good luck and godspeed! UPDATE: We have a winner! If you didn’t hear from us by now it wasn’t you. Sorry, but you can’t always win.