This week was the massive SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, where up-and-coming artists try to stand out among the hundreds of bands and reach as many ears as possible, often by playing a bunch of shows in just a few days.
Take The Howlin’ Brothers, for example. The trio, from Nashville, Tenn., was scheduled to play no fewer than nine gigs in four days at SXSW, including four in a 13-hour stretch on Thursday. The last of those shows was the official showcase for Readymade Records, a label owned by pop-rock savant (and member of The Raconteurs) Brendan Benson.
Benson has been a major force in the rise of the Brothers, signing them to his label and producing both their 2013 album “Howl” and their upcoming followup “Trouble,” due out in April. It’s easy to hear why Benson took an interest: The trio — who aren’t actual brothers — makes a rootsy, acoustic racket that incorporates old-time country, bluegrass and blues while still sounding modern. Think Old Crow Medicine Show but a bit more city-fied or a grittier Avett Brothers.
On Wednesday, The Howlin’ Brothers will enter an environment decidedly less hectic than SXSW: McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend, where they’ll play a free show. Don’t miss it.
The Howlin’ Brothers; 7 p.m. Wednesday; free; McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 N.W. Bond St., Bend; www.mcmenamins.com.