- Rosie Gutierrez
City Painted Gold, the third album by Bay Area folk string-band the Brothers Comatose, is both a love letter and a cautionary tale about their longtime home of San Francisco. Written in the band's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood apartment and released last March as rising rents threatened them the same way it has forced out so many other artistically minded residents, City Painted Gold is also the band's most relaxed and joyful record to date.
Brothers Alex and Ben Morrison, who share vocal duties and play banjo and guitar respectively, formed the group with bassist Gio Benedetti and violinist Philip Brezina seven years ago. The brotherly band plays acoustic folk ditties with classic-rock energy. Their live shows are known as rowdy parties and the band's two previous albums, Songs from the Stoop (2010) and Respect the Van (2012), are acclaimed for their tight rhythms, vocal melodies and infectious jams. With City Painted Gold, the band has evolved into a seasoned outfit whose confident musical offerings are infused with a never-ending supply of enthusiasm.
Earlier this month, the band held their second annual Comatopia festival in the Sierra Valley town of Calpine. This weekend, the Brothers Comatose keeps the good times rolling with a bluegrass-infused concert on Sunday, Aug. 21, at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, 738 Main St., St. Helena. 5pm doors; 7pm show. $35–$45. 707.963.4555.