T Bird and the Breaks @ KUT 7/7/11
Tim Crane landed here only after doing a bit of research. The frontman of Austin’s newest and baddest R&B outfit, T-Bird and the Breaks, was living and gigging in Massachusetts, longing for a fresh scene. In 2006, Crane bought an Amtrack ticket for a trip around the U.S. (as Crane puts it, “a Eurorail pass, but in the States”), and found a home in Central Texas. Austin may seem an unlikely fit for a throwback rhythm and blues band – the city is more widely known for its country music roots (Willie Nelson, et. al) and more recently for its indie rock (Spoon, Okkervil River, Shearwater) – but in less than two years, T-Bird and the Breaks have become arguably the finest example of Austin’s burgeoning soul and funk scene. Crane is a student of 1950s and ‘60s old school blues and soul: Booker T and the MGs, Otis Redding, James Brown. His father used to put him to bed singing Mississippi John Hurt and Howlin’ Wolf. The title of T-Bird and the Breaks debut album is telling. It’s called Learn About It. This is the approach Crane took in putting together his band’s sound: learn about it from the masters and give it a personal touch. Crane’s done the research, now we get to enjoy the results.