The Sunshine Brothers are a Santa Barbara-based collaboration between vocalist/guitarist Owen Plant, percussionist/guitarist Christopher Tyng, and bassist Bear Erickson, backed by a full rhythm section and horns. On the whole, Live By the Sun could easily fall into the Jack Johnson school of mellow-minded musicology-but dig deeper and you’ll find an amazing array of sounds and influences (Toots and The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, James Taylor). The album flows beautifully from opener “Rum Song” to closer “Cerasse Tea,” interweaving its world beat, reggae, surf pop, and folk styles into a coherent whole. Plant’s comforting lyrics and mellifluous vocals are key to the Brothers’ Jamaica-meets-Santa Barbara simpatico, and David Crosby dug the band’s flavor so much that he lent backing vocals to the sublime “Love Again.” When all’s said and done, Live is the perfect Santa Babylon summertime record.


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