T Bird and the Breaks, the 10-piece Austin soul band releasing monthly original songs on real vinyl, again plays South By Southwest Music Festival & Media Conference, with its showcase slated for March 20.
The band — described as “smooth soul cut by youthful grit” by The Austin Chronicle after its showcase last year — plays at midnight Saturday, March 20, at Opal Divine’s Freehouse, 700 W. Sixth St. Music Festival badges & information are available at www.sxsw.com. Also part of the showcase (a mix of jazz, funk, blues and more) are Corb Lund, Moreland & Arbuckle, The dB’s, Dexter Freebish and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Impressed with the band’s “precision and infectious abandon,” The Chronicle also praised its “wicked” bassline, lead singer-frontman Tim “T Bird” Crane’s “suave shuffle and strut,” and its “jumping the funk” to bring the showcase crowd to its feet — to dance.
This year the band brings with it a fedora full of new music, scorching songs like the hip-hop “Mr. Rockwell,” with its naughty lyrics, back-talk background vocals and three-note piano signature — one side of the third in its series of monthly single releases since November. The other side is “Piano Joint,” a gospel-esque plea for mercy with heavy load-lonely road lyrics aptly driven by a steady piano and the band’s gangster horns.
Due out in March is the fourth single: “Monkey in the Trees” backed with “Shackles and Chains.” After the band’s first album, LEARN ABOUT IT
, fans were eager for more, and Crane has obliged. The 45s are available at Waterloo Records & Video in Austin, at the band’s live shows and on its website
, and as digital downloads.
T Bird and the Breaks have spent February opening shows for Galactic in Georgia and North and South Carolina and playing return engagements at some of their favorite musical haunts.