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About The Mulligan Brothers

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 lyrics in Via Portland are built on Newell’s poetic imagery and storytelling in a warm, sincere voice that is full of feeling whether it is relaxed or strained. Touring the country and playing together most nights of the week sharpened harmony, background vocals, and dynamics in the instrumentation.  New songs evolved in front of audiences, giving each musician time to develop his parts and how they fit together. "This album is honest and sincere from the ground up," lead singer Ross Newell says.  "We stayed true to ourselves.

”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). 

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What they say!

Their talents are apparent from the start with the sublime vocal introduction to "Wait For Me" which is sumptuous in a Beach Boys Surfs Up style before they launch into a forlorn tale of loss which recalls classic 70's country rock (with the emphasis on country), Rea fiddles like David Lindley as the song ebbs and flows. "City Full Of Streets" recalls Paul Simon's writing but the violin adds a dramatic sweep and a rootsier feel than Simon utilised. "Calamine" is a murderous tale told in dramatic fashion with what seems like a prepared piano adding a chill to the mix. The best song here however is the stripped down love song "Run On Ahead" which allows Newell to shine on vocals while the band tiptoe around him with gentle mandolin, hushed percussion and sympathetic harmonies that dissolve into the ether. They close with another song that recalls Paul Simon in the lyrical department, "Not Always What It Seems" and again the delivery is almost immaculate.  Paul Kerr for Americana-UK.com

“Via Portland,” the Alabama group’s second studio effort, finds them all in fine form, especially Ross Newell. His voice is still sweet and rich and the lyrics he sings with that voice are still worthy of it. “Wait For Me” is one of the better album openings I’ve heard in a long time and though the words are simple, something unusual for this band, the melody more than carries the song.  Trevor Christian for Country Pocket

Overall, Via Portland is a pretty great example of two worlds colliding. The Mulligans’ legitimate southern roots mesh with the dreary folk vibe of Portland in a way that expertly preserves the best aspects of both sensibilities. The immediacy of the live performances is palpable and when treated with the silky harmonies upon which the band are certain to make a name for themselves, each song comes together with a simultaneous subtlety and drive that truly sets The Mulligan Brothers apart from their contemporaries. Angus Fitz-Bugden Renowned for Sound


This album rewards two different styles of listening. Under any circumstances, fans can hear more of what made The Mulligan Brothers so appealing in the first place: the easy flow of music that uses traditional textures without falling into a fake rootsiness, balanced against lyrics that are often sharply contemporary. But 'Via Portland' also rewards headphone listening, with subtle ambiance that lends a new depth to the music.  Johanna B. Bodde for Insurgent.net

Mellow of sound and powerful stories is nice and brief but added to that is tremendously warm lead vocals, extraordinary harmonies and excellent  arrangements. This four piece bands mastery of their instruments leaves little to be desired as well on these sparse songs. It is a deceptive album; on first play it struck me as mellow pop/rock, but it soon dawned that there is very much more to this excellent band and beautifully melodic album. American Roots UK

The Mulligan Brothers don’t just write songs and play music. They speak to the soul. The lyrics and the music gets inside your head and won’t leave. Via Porltand is not just a record. It is destined to become the soundtrack of your life.- John Archibald, AL.com

Under any circumstances, fans can hear more of what made The Mulligan Brothers so appealing in the first place: The easy Americana flow of music that uses traditional textures without falling into a fake rootsiness, balanced against lyrics that are often sharply contemporary. Where the previous album had "Cecilia," a tale of forbidden interracial love in the Old South, the new one has "Calomine," a haunting, inside-out murder ballad. Newell has a gift for phrases that pop out and grab you, even when you've set the album playing in the background.- Lawrence Specker, Mobile Press-Register

Via Portland - "Lovely stuff !" Late Night with Cherrie McIlwaine, BBC Radio Ulster.

The sonic depth of “Via Portland” is truly amazing. The first thing that listeners will note is the overall quality and clarity of the recording. In a time when technology has made do-it-yourself recording popular with many bands, “Via Portland” is a testament to the benefits of recording with professionals in a professional studio.

With The Mulligan Brothers’ heavy emphasis on acoustic instruments, Steve Berlin and Jeff Saltzman were able capture every strum and pluck with crystalline accuracy. In addition, each song exhibits a rich sound that has been honed by skilled ears.  -Steve Centanni  Lagniappe


An easy wind blows off the gulf coast and the light sway generated by the breeze is picked up by Mobile, Alabama’s The Mulligan Brothers... Bright acoustics flash with a quiet fire in the hands of The Mulligan Brothers. The tender string plucking of “Kaleidoscope” lets the notes tumble like the jumbled colors spin inside the song title as a fiddle offers a welcome to the “Red Dress Lady” as she makes a belated appearance....The Mulligan Brothers presents Ross Newell's warm-honey vocals finding inspiration in the words of a train-traveling transient ("Thrift Store Suitcase") and get their affairs in order, saving a big chunk of themselves for the woman who will always be in their hearts ("Momma Gets My Soul").-Alternate Root Magazine

The Mulligan Brothers have emerged as a serious up-and-coming talent. The Mulligan Brothers play a unique brand of folk music, oscillating between Americana and country western while incorporating elements of the blues. OffBeat Magazine 

"There is a synergy with The Mulligan Brothers. All of the musicians have played around town for years but somehow it came together for them in this band. I play them on the radio, but I also listen to them in my car. Knowing them makes you like their music even more. They are part of a unique sound that is developing in Mobile." -Catt Sirten, host of Radio Avalon in Mobile, Alabama

The Mulligan Brothers was voted "Alabama Album of 2013" by readers of the Mod Mobilian. 

“Armed with a violin, acoustic guitar, drums and an upright bass fashioned from two old suitcases, the Mulligan Brothers, a quartet from Mobile, Ala., stand dead center at the crossroads generally defined as Americana. Folk, country and blues all factor into the sound, as Ross Newell’s nuanced, radio-ready voice brings the band’s story-songs to vivid life.” - Keith Spera, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune  

"If you don’t know of The Mulligan Brothers yet, you will soon as this emerging Mobile, Alabama band makes its way to the Lagniappe Stage at the New Orleans Jazz Fest this May to show off their knack for writing fine Americana, folk songs and their comfort and talent as a band, even though they’ve been playing together for less than two years."- Kelly Neilson AXS Music

"You guys wowed me and I told you we would play you on KROK-FM. My program director loved 'Sensible Shoes' and will add it to the rotation." -Richard Barnickel, Station Manager for KROCK