What can Brown do for you?

Take a walk along Eustis Ridge with Gunther
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 15, 2009

090417_guntherbrown_main
WATCH CLOSELY Gunther Brown.

Our local alt-country renaissance continues this weekend with Gunther Brown's debut release, a five-song, 20-minute EP called Eustis Ridge. They're alt-country enough, anyway, despite frontman Pete Dubuc's (you might remember him from WCLZ) penchant for low-end gravelly vocals that get downright singer/songwritery, and, of course, it doesn't really matter. This is a new band with chops to watch.

The overall vibe is a bit sedate and down in the mouth — even the bar-stomp "Great Eustis Jailbreak," with cool piano backing, seems to have a governor on it — but there's nothing wrong with some indie rock seeping into a record. Guitarist John Boyle (he's a Portland music-scene ex-pat returned from Seattle) is excellent, with a Nashville pop to his licks, but some irony in his tone, and the way they use Chris Devlin on keys is interesting.

They could use more of the backing vocals that open "Minnesota," and a little more giddy-up in their step from time to time, but they've got a polished sound and some soul, which makes Eustis Ridge worth a visit.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached at sam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

Gunther Brown with the Lomax + Dark Hollow Bottling Company | at One Longfellow, in Portland | April 16

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