Courtesy of www.mckaybrothers.com.
The New York Times says,“Their authenticity is as welcome as a drive down a lonely road in a dusty pickup.”
The McKay Brothers, fifth generation Texans, grew up in the hills of Bandera County. Music became an inescapable part of their early lives. Hollin recalls “we used to sit on the banks of the Nueces river with our uncle playing songs ranging from the Beatles to George Jones. Our uncle’s feelings about music shaped a lot of what we write about.“
Noel McKayWhile still in in their teens both brothers started playing professionally. Noel’s first experience began in the honky-tonks and dance halls around Bandera. Hollin, at age16, joined his brother, playing such colorful places as San Antonio biker bars and rustic dives. Since then the McKay Brothers have shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Charlie Robison and Robert Earl Keene.
Like those talented artists, the brothers have proven to be prolific songwriters. The process of developing their original material is at times unexpected. Noel explains, “Sometimes a song idea will come to you and you have to determine the best way to finish it. The goal is to make someone feel and believe in the experience you're writing about.”
Hollin McKayCold Beer & Hot Tamales
In the fall of 2005 the McKay brothers completed a record with producer Lloyd Maines. This record gives the listener as true a feeling of the their live performances as can be captured on a CD. With Mark Patterson on drums, Corby Schuab on mandolin, Joel Guzman on accordion and Lloyd Maines at the helm, the result of this collaboration created a sound that is uniquely their own.
Cold Beer & Hot Tamales, captures the essence of true Texas Hill Country music. The songwriting explores a range of stories and emotions from cold and hot to refreshing and spicy. With an intriguing mixture of lyrics in both English and Spanish, they demonstrate their musical agility in material that moves from tender to humorous to satirical. The reverence the brothers show for the land and heritage of the people meanders like a river throughout the diverse tracks on this album. Immersed in the elusive beauty and complexity of the land that gave them birth, the spirit of the Hill Country has clearly shaped and influenced their music.
Before recording Cold Beer & Hot Tamales, the McKay Brothers songwriting was already much talked about. Legendary singer songwriter Guy Clark has been quoted as saying of the McKays, “They are enchanting and amazing.”
McKay BrothersA New York Times magazine, Style article by Paula Disbrowe, chronicled their life on the road along with a four page spread on Noel and Hollin.
You can find the brothers playing their favorite dance halls across the Hill country. There performances include national and international venues. Two of their most memorable shows were The Kerrville Folk Festival and the Blue Highways Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands with Guy Clark, Adam Caroll and Hayes Carll.
The wide appeal of the brothers is reflected in the numerous glowing comments from their fans. “They have a unique Texas country style with great rhythms.” And other fans say, “Only 5 stars are available but these boys easily deserve way more stars than 5!” "Their songs will touch your heart, head and soul and make you laugh out loud." “They are great to see and the music sticks with you." “Tan suave! Enjoy los hermanos guapos!”
"Absolutely phenomenal" raves Ray Wylie Hubbard.
McKay Brothers Links
The Official McKay Brothers web site