Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Busker Days: Zack and Brian - Hard Times

(Originally posted March 3, 2010)

It's interesting how things come together. I first came across Zack a year or so ago during one of my lunchtime forays over at Powell St Bart station. He was playing with his band, the Jugtown Pirates. Its basically a quartet comprising of stand-up bass, mandolin, guitar and violin. Zack's on the bass and vocals, both of which he handles with ease and earnestness, and I was impressed that day with a couple songs they played written by his brother. Around the same time over at Montgomery station I started noticing Brian playing solo, usually on a new model Gretsch hollow body plugged in to a little amp. The first song I heard him play was Rocky Raccoon and his nicely controlled vocal work stood out, as did his chord range on the guitar.  Fast forward to a month or so ago and they're together at Montgomery station.  I think it's a good match.  Listen here to Hard Times written by Zack's brother.  Thanks for the music guys!
You can hear other Busker Days recordings featuring Zack and Brian here and here.


  1. I thought it would be hard to top the Human Condition post you did last year. But you've done it. The recording quality is stellar. The song is wonderful and the performance is flawless. The harmonies are tight and warm. Hard to tell who is the lead and who is the harmony. I really love two moments in this song: The "thank you" to what I assume is a person tipping them at the 3:03 mark. The singer doesn't miss a beat. The other is at 4:15 when one of them sings the fill of "and I'm singing...". Very soulful and compelling.

    I'll have to track these guys down next time I'm in SF. Thanks for turning me on to them.

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