- The Washington Times - Monday, February 9, 2004

Vienna songsters Luke and Daniel Brindley know how to throw a party, and when the word gets out that they’ll be playing at Jammin’ Java, which they own and operate, they pack the room. The brothers played to two sold-out houses at the Vienna club Saturday night.

Showcasing their debut album, “Playing With the Light,” the brothers rocked hundreds of devoted fans with the help of co-producer Jared Bartlett, drummer Ryan Hayes and bass guitar player Paul Barber.

The Brindley Brothers’ album effortlessly alternates soft, reflective melodies with joyfully growling guitar work. The lyrics are almost uncomfortably intimate, but the result is genuine, unpretentious popular music.

Onstage, the brothers know how to sell a good time. Opening with the new “Up All Night,” followed by the high-octane title track of their album, the boys muscled through their set list, never losing pace or the enthusiasm of the crowd.

They lightened the mood with the sunny, crowd-pleasing “Roman Candle,” enlivened by Daniel Brindley’s playful keyboard work, and followed it with “The Crazy One,” a softly cozy track on the CD that gained some oomph Saturday night thanks to Mr. Bartlett’s soulful, clean guitar solos.

While the boys kept things varied with softer favorites such as “Hudson River” and “Breakdown,” no song went untouched by the energy and pure infectious joy of the brothers’ performance. When Daniel lugged out the accordion for a Dylan cover, he quipped, “Now the party can get started,” cracking up the house.

Luke treated the audience to his stunning acoustic instrumental “Dervish,” which features flawless on-the-fly guitar tunings, an exotic “Middle Eastern” twang and Daniel on the bongo drum. As usual, the audience listened in rapt silence to this deeply affecting tune before erupting in explosive applause at the end.

Opening act Shane Hines charmed the crowd with his aggressive acoustic pop-rock.

Jammin’ Java functions as a recording studio and concert venue — and is nearly as popular for its food as for the caliber of its artists.

You’ve got to hand it to the Brindley Brothers. It’s not every day that an act shows a mastery of pop songcraft and stagecraft — and how to run a family business.

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