Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Ruen Brothers at Mercury Lounge

Influenced by their dad's record collection before they were teens, Henry Stansall (lead vocals/acoustic guitar) and his younger brother Rupert Stansall (lead guitar/ backing vocals) were blending vocals in a way that recalled American artists from the early 1960s. At ages 11 and 12, they would rehearse in the family kitchen in Scunthorpe, England, and then ask local pub owners if the duo could entertain tipsy late-night patrons with their renditions of old songs. After college, hoping to enter a bigger world of music, the duo moved to London, conflated portions of their first names to create a new amalgam-created moniker, the Ruen Brothers, and recorded original music in the studio apartment they shared. Their demos and homemade videos led to radio play, then a 2015 EP, and now a debut studio album, All My Shades of Blue, which will be released tomorrow, June 1, 2018.

Headlining at the Mercury Lounge tonight, the Ruen Brothers opened with two covers that gave a taste of what was forthcoming, the folk traditional "Mama Don't" and Hank Cochran's 1963 country crooner "Make the World Go Away." Accompanied by a drummer, the rest of the set was comprised of original songs that drew from vintage country, rockabilly and throwback rock and roll sources. Most impressive were the sibling harmonies that recalled the Everly Brothers backed by Buddy Holly-like rhythms. From romantic ballads to stirring rock and rollers, the Ruen Brothers captured the spirit of a bygone era and gave the set a tasteful shot of new youthful vibrancy. The Ruen Brothers proved to be a sharp act ready for a rock and roots revival.

Visit the Ruen Brothers at www.ruenbrothers.com.