The Mallett Brothers Band
by Jillian Hilton
Girls, Girls—no need to fight! There are plenty of The Mallett Brothers Band to go around. What do you get when you mix bourbon, country music, and six talented musicians together? The Mallett Brother's Band. After spending the night dancing my heart out at Portland's Port City Music Hall to the sweet jams of these fellas, I found it necessary to share the electrifying vibe I felt, and a little bit about these gents, with you all.
Will and Luke Mallett, sons of renowned Maine folk singer/songwriter David Mallett, team up with Nick Leen, Wally Wenzel, Brian Higgins, and Boston's Nate Soule to bring the country funk to northern New England. The intense chemistry between these dudes is unmistakable and the crowd they draw can most definitely feel it.
Inspired by their Maine roots, these brothers write songs that everyone can relate to. Vocalist Luke Mallett's transition from hip hop to funk and then to rock is an eclectic mash-up of sounds that will make your ears have an orgasm. Listeners can hear this style reflected in his lyrics, and it is pretty awesome.
Bassist Nate Soule is a force to be reckoned with on the guitar/mandolin, and I am unable to stop staring in disbelief as he plays. His love for music is undeniable and who doesn't swoon over an amazing guitarist?
Next up on my list of people I give the goofy grin to would have to be Wally Wenzel. As he tares up the dobro, I can't help but wonder where this guy came from. Rumor has it that he picked up the dobro one day, missed work, and then became an instant complement to the rest of the group. I'll take it.
You see that guy in the trucker hat? That would be Nick Leen. His funk background shines hard when he's kickin that nasty bass. He will blow your mind and drink your whiskey.
Where does Brian Higgins fit into this group? I've seen Brian play in many punk/metal/rock bands in Portland over the years and have always been impressed. His rock 'n'roll attitude fits this alt-country band perfectly.
Tying this group together is Will Mallett. I've had the pleasure of sharing shots, and thoughts, with him on many occasions and when I finally heard him sing, I was blown away. Will sings with his heart on his sleeve and has the unique ability to make you feel what he is feeling. His country twang, plus that shot of Evan Williams I had with this brother before the show, gives me a perma smile.
MBB exploded onto Portland's music scene in early 2010, and by early summer had earned themselves a slot at Nateva Music Festival, sharing the stage with The Flaming Lips, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, and countless other musical greats. You may have caught them at the House of Blues last summer in the front room while you were there checking out Willie Nelson on the main stage. With a growing fanbase and a self-titled album named “Top New Local Album of 2010” by Portland's WCYY, the boys are blowing up.
Hits like I Don't Need You and Watch You Walk Away are dominating the local radio stations. These guys pack show after show with their loyal fans not far behind. After being together for just over a year, The Mallett Brothers Band, with their melting pot of musical backgrounds, rock a party that cannot be missed. Nate Soule once told me he wouldn't be alive if it weren't for music, and I believe that to be true for all of them. Their diverse backgrounds, coupled with their amazing talent and brotherhood, make these guys a must-see.
Not only do THEY rock...they make YOU rock. Be sure to check them out on May 20th at Port City Music Hall in Portland, ME or June 16th at The Delancey in NYC. A little birdie told me they might be hitting Beantown soon as well. Head to their website for a complete list of shows and GO! I guarantee you a kick-ass time, a hangover, and a crush that won't quit.