T Bird and the Breaks To Play SXSW

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.
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