The Howlin' Brothers at Iota

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Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

The Howlin' Brothers have the blues and are bringing them to you.

The old-time string band that plays both original and traditional music is on a roll now that the group's latest album "Howl," on which the Allman Brothers' Warren Haynes guest stars on the song "Big Time" (which he co-wrote with the band), has been released to great reviews.

"With this album, we spent time on each song making it sound like what it needed," said Jared Green. "The old timey songs sound more old timey, the western songs sound more western."

Not that the Howlin' Brothers didn't always make quality music, as evidenced by their success around Nashville. Credit that with their spiritual kinship. Although the members of the group are not related, they all have affection for traditional roots music that culminates in a sound that seems to emanate straight from the Carter Family in southern Virginia.

Onstage
The Howlin' Brothers
» Where: Iota Club & Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
» When: 8:30 p.m., Monday
» Info: $12; 703-522-2354; iotaclubandcafe.com

Since signing a record deal, they've had more tools and time with which to craft their brand of music. You'll hear that by the way they use their instrumental arsenal -- including slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle -- to pump up the band's sound.

Green, who handles harmonica for the group, said that he was able to spend a lot of time adding real grit to the sound of his instrumentation. The band also brought in a drummer for some of the blues recordings, which added just an elegant extra to the songs.

"We were able to really take our time with this," he said. "That brought a lot of nice sounds, especially guitar. Basically, all of the songs got a little bit more attention [than we can usually give them]. A lot of that comes from working with a producer, too."

Fans should expect to hear plenty of original songs -- dipping back into the Howlin' Brothers catalog -- and covers of songs made famous by Hank Williams Sr., Jon Hartford, Howlin' Wolf and other blues artists.

"The great thing," said Green, "is that we have a lot of music that people haven't heard before. Some of our [earlier] records are hard to find, so they seem like brand new songs."

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