Houston's the Beans Grind Out an Album the Natural Way

Categories: Only In Houston

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The Beans have noticed a pretty insane trend lately: The Houston band has found itself compared to the likes of Texas rock legend Janis Joplin and Brittany Howard, vocal impresaria for the Alabama Shakes.

The only problem in this equation? It's a band chock full o' dudes.

They're cool with it, though. I mean, it's freakin' Joplin. Girl comparisons be damned -- they'll take it.

Throwing caution to the wind, the Beans have also done the unthinkable and released their debut album sans Autotune. (Somewhere, Flo Rida's mind has been blown by the mere thought.)

Focusing on musical ability from the jump, the Houston natives have put an emphasis on incorporating psych-soul and raw vocals into a frenzied sound that hovers on the line between engulfing the audience and simply falling apart. It can be a fine line, as you can imagine, but the band takes pride in their lack of sugar-coating, and folks are beginning to notice.

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Led by vocalist Sam Griffin, with Christian Galatoire on guitar, Daniel Taylor on bass, and Brendan Hall on percussion, the Beans have found themselves amidst a bigger buzz as of late. (Disclosure: Brendan is the brother of Houston Press freelancer Nicholas L. Hall -- ed.)

Fresh off a Tuesday-afternoon SXSW gig at Austin's Maggie Mae's, The Beans are set to open for Robert Randolph at Fitzgerald's tonight, followed by shows in Waco and Dallas. They've also landed a sweet spot on the 2013 Free Press Summer Fest lineup, playing among some pretty big names.

They're pretty proud of the work they've done so far, as one might expect, given that the Beans already opened for the likes of Wanda Jackson and the Meat Puppets. Rocks Off sat down with Brendan Hall, resident drummer for The Beans, by phone to brush up on our knowledge of one of Houston's own.

"We've built up this great rapport with Fitzgerald's," says Hall. "That venue is hot to a lot of great artists, and they do a really good job of bringing in some strong names. We had the honor of opening up for Wanda Jackson there, who's a living legend. It was really badass.

"Early on in our career, the folks at Fitz offered us the spot to open for the Meat Puppets," he adds. "A couple of the guys hadn't heard of them at that point, but those of us who had were like, 'Hell, yeah, we want to open for them'."

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That they opened for Meat Puppets (I hope the knowing band members frogged the ones who skipped the 90s) is pretty awesome. Will for sure have to check this band out at Fitz. Don't worry, bros, getting compared to ladies just makes me that much more interested.

Although I have to take issue with "...it's Sam's voice and our instruments with no sugar-coating." Because Boston baked beans are delicious.

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