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Family togetherness works for The Oh Hellos

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, February 25, 2018

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

It was a family affair from opening to closing notes. The opening act at the sold-out show was the husband-and-wife team known as Lowland Hum. And The Oh Hellos are a Texas-based conglomerate fronted by Tyler and Maggie Heath.

Family togetherness doesn't always work. Oasis brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher not withstanding, these sets of relations, however, know something about working together cohesively for an engaging, warm evening of music.

The Oh Hellos are a folk rock ensemble in the same realm as The Strumbellas. That meant an evening's worth of well-conceived, musically enticing songs that translated well to the live setting. The Heaths sometimes alternated on lead vocals (the slow, but pretty sounding British folk "Like the Dawn" with Maggie on lead vocals), sometimes backing the other.

The Heaths were ably backed by a muscular unit including a fiddle player most possessed for large stretches of the night and another member, who may have appeared shy in that he tended to face the back of the stage, but he had no problem engaging his banjo to good effect.

Tyler Heath maintained a low-key - pleasant, warm and certainly appreciative - demeanor of the crowd that sometimes sang along and was clearly behind the indie band that has seen its career steadily build.

The Oh Hellos came off as a comfortably competent band filled with a plethora of worthy music from the opening of "Eurus" to the closing "I Have Made Mistakes." This evening wasn't one of them.

Lowland Hum - Lauren and Daniel Goans - was steeped in folk. Put it this way. When Daniel said in a very nice, typically humorous way that the crowd may want to quiet down for one of their songs, he meant it.

They had a nice vibe going, albeit a bit within the same realm. For good measure, Daniel improvised three different songs during their set. Funny enough, but on the other hand, that may have taken away from more serious music.

Yet, Lowland Hum was a worthy table setter for The Oh Hellos in a night where family togetherness worked to everyone's benefit.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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