The Mulligan Brothers are: Ross Newell (lead vocals, guitar, and songwriting); Gram Rea (fiddle, mandolin, viola, harmonica and vocals); Ben Leininger (bass and vocals) and Greg DeLuca (drums and vocals). Via Portland is the second album for the band from Mobile and Baton Rouge that met playing in bars in Mobile and took a name that means second chances. Expectations are high for the follow-up to The Mulligan Brothers, their popular debut album released in June 2013 that created passionate fans across the country and was in the Top Ten of CD Sales at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz Fest.
The music is still a blend of alt-country, blues, and folk that sounds like the Lumineers with a hot fiddle and the song writing of Townes Van Zandt, but Via Portland is a smoother album with more harmony and background vocals and dynamics in the instrumentation. The lyrics in Via Portland are once again built on Newell’s poetic imagery and storytelling in a warm, sincere voice that is full of feeling whether it is relaxed or strained. But the band is tighter now and more confident in themselves and one another. They play together most nights each week and the new songs evolved in front of audiences, giving each musician time to develop his parts.