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Small-time band Westrin & Mowry hit big with new album ‘Epiphany’

In East Lansing, Mich., there is a band that sounds so similar to John Mayer that listeners actually believe they are hearing covers of newly released Mayer songs. Brian Westrin, lead singer of Westrin & Mowry, had listeners believing just that about his band.

“We finally started telling people the truth,” Westrin said and laughed. “We actually do have original music.”

The band’s acoustic, yet upbeat music has clever lyrics and catchy melodies.

However, Westrin & Mowry doesn’t always sound like John Mayer. Acoustic guitar is played in every song while the sultry voice of Westrin serenades the listener with clever lyrics, such as “I’ve got the marks to prove / That I was involved with you / And these are my favorite part / Of a face that’s been so straight / Ever since that day I met you” and “You play the field and I play your fool.” Westrin & Mowry’s songs often are accompanied by drums, bass and harmonica.

Westrin’s smoky vocals are good accompaniment to the lighthearted accoustic feel to many of the tracks on the CD. The duo creates a mixture of country and pop music in the “easy-going” yet energetic “One Week Epiphany.” There are definitely sounds from pop stars, such as Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz, who were probably major influences in their work, because many of the tracks contain hints to either of these artists, but Westrin & Mowry still are able to invent a sound all their own.

“One Week Epiphany” is perfect to listen to after a bad breakup, as the majority of songs refer to a failed relationship that Westrin had with one of his ex-girlfriends. The album chronologically delves into their relationship starting out with a few cheery songs and ending the album with a stream of heartbroken songs.

However, there is one song on the album that does not deal with Westrin’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend, but rather his relationship with the law. “Not So Famous Blues” stands out on the album because of its joking tone and unique topic of copyright infringement. Westrin just had taken the bar exam and apparently the law was on his mind when he wrote the song.

“One Week Epiphany” is now available, and the band currently is working on a new album. Westrin said the album in progress is going very well because the band members’ personalities mesh well. Westrin admits that he and Pete Mowry were “hesitant about putting a band together because [of] horror stories about the bass player and drummer going insane or even the lead singer.” Westrin & Mowry are hoping to release the next album sometime next fall.

Westrin & Mowry reside in East Lansing, Mich., where they play at the popular Michigan State bar Harpers every Wednesday. Westrin jokes that the place comes with a built-in audience because Wednesdays are half-off drinks day at Harpers. East Lansing may seem a bit far from Loyola, but Westrin & Mowry are due in Chicago at a date yet to be determined in April at Martyrs’ bar on Lincoln Avenue. Make sure to catch this up-and-coming band in a concert that promises to be fun. If a live performance of the album “One Week Epiphany” just isn’t enough, their music also is available on iTunes or at the band’s Web site www.westrin-mowry.com.

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