A.K and the Brotherhood
Fabulously Authentic Americana/Scandicana Hybrid
I never cease to be amazed regarding where the Americana ship docks around the world; as in this instance a songwriter in a part of Sweden you couldn’t find on a map (if you could even find Sweden first!) has spawned a fabulous band an album of truly authentic Americana/Alt. Country.
Opening track California Freebird instantly whisks the listener away to a winding coastal road in a red sports car with the roof down and the stereo turned up to 8.
This is followed by the more gentle For The Long Run, with Alo Karlsson himself at the piano; and pouring his heart out with a slight crackle in his worn and weary voice. Is it a love song? Is it a break-up song? It’s a bit of both; and bares repeated plays if you are ‘in that mood’.
There are days when I wonder where songwriters get their ideas from; and there’s a top song here that falls into that category; the twisted love song Like The Devil Reads The Bible; and you guessed it ……. it’s a Hellfire and Brimstone Honky Tonker that will have audiences shouting along and punching the air on each and every chorus.
Like me in the UK I guess Alo has always looked on America through rose coloured glasses; and the romantic imagery in his songs here appear to reflect that; with the fabulous duet with Sofia Loell, Big City Sidewalks sounding as authentic as if the couple lived in Nashville, New York or even Nantucket; and not rural Sweden.
The songs here are nearly all deeply personal; and certainly written from the bottom of his heart; with the Country Rockers Miles and Memories, Halfway To Anywhere and Man Up having the ability to make you want to dance with tears in your eyes.
I doubt AK and the Brotherhood are destined to fill Arenas around Europe; but I can only imagine how cool it will be seeing them in a full and sweaty club on a Friday or Saturday night cranking out Halfway to Anywhere and Where All The Dreams Go!
I’ve played Oh Sedona! really loud in the car and also at about 5 in the living room; and that’s thrown up two very diverse songs as my Favourite Tracks. (Living on) Tupelo Time is a charming laid back tale of finally making it to Elvis’s home town, in the mould of Poco or maybe even early Eagles; and it’s a belter.
The other is a gentle Country shuffle full of maudlin fiddle playing, tinkling piano, brushed drums and oh so sweet guitar, called Guiding Light that will make you smile in recognition of the way AK describes his life on the road; but constantly thinking of his Guiding Light back home.
In the current economic climate AK and the Brotherhood are very brave playing their own songs when they could probably make a better living being an Eagles or maybe even Tom Petty covers band; but more power to them; and if there’s an even braver American promoter reading this; you could do a lot worse than bring this band to the US of A!
Released March 2020