Brother duo Hudson Taylor brings a piece of their native Ireland to Boston with traditional folk melodies.

In the dark, warm back room of the Haymarket Lounge at City Winery, fans stood eagerly around a modest stage that showcased an impressive array of guitars and amps. The room smelled of smoke, red wine, and perfume as opener Craig Stickland, clad in a distressed black leather jacket, began his set. The Toronto-born musician, channeling Hozier’s bluesy rocker looks and a mix of Jon Fratelli’s and Eddie Vedder’s emotional baritones, had a setlist that spanned from his album Leave Me To The Wild to his newest release, Burn It Down. His distinctively rugged vocals and humble, warm demeanor served as a brilliant introduction to the main act of the night, Hudson Taylor.

The audience erupted with applause as Harry and Alfie Taylor took the stage. Joining them were two other talented musicians, a violinist and a harmonist, whom the brothers met while busking in Dublin. Harry, with his calm, quiet disposition, rocked a Damon Albarn look with a blazer, black jeans, and combat boots, while Alfie sported a more vintage look, with blue and green tartan pants, a sleeveless gray t-shirt and a slicked-back undercut.

Opening with “Travellin’,” off of their 2018 EP, Feel It Again, Hudson Taylor began the show with a bang, passionately crooning and harmonizing as they experimented with an eclectic collection of instruments, including a tambourine, hand drum, and mandolin, to name a few. The brothers’ warm, deferential aura encompassed the Haymarket Lounge and mesmerized the audience, creating an atmosphere akin to a secret late-night show in a cozy pub in rural Ireland, mixing traditional Irish folk with Americana. The audience sang along to nearly all of the songs on the setlist, proving that Hudson Taylor’s earlier visit to Boston this past October with Hozier was nothing short of memorable. The setlist included songs from debut 2013 EP Chasing Rubies to their recent LP Bear Creek to Dame Street, including songs with personal backstories to them, such as “Holly,” about the duo’s sister, who is also a talented musician. Alfie and Harry explained how they wrote the song when their sister was going through a difficult time—“And underneath the pale, grey sky is no place for a girl like you in this life / And all of this time, I wonder how you’re survivin’.”

Towards the end of the show, the brothers and their visiting musicians requested all audience members put away their phones and cameras, and they sang a capella. The room fell silent and the sheer passion coming from the musicians’ raw vocals created a warm ambiance in the venue. The brothers’ engagement with the audience is part of what makes Hudson Taylor shows so special. The duo frequently comes close to the edge of the stage to sing, and Alfie’s effortless and endearing conversing in between tracks keeps the crowd engaged and excited throughout the show. Throughout their set, they invite the crowd to sing along with them, as well as participate in singing back to them during songs like “Don’t Know Why” and “World Without You,” eliciting a heartwarming response from their crowd.

The boys closed out their set with “Feel It Again,” a feel-good, wanderlust-inspired tune. The crowd sang along and erupted into applause after the song ended. Hudson Taylor, as they have done at their previous shows, invited everyone to the back of the venue to chat and take pictures. They remained there until each fan had a chance to do so. These musicians have no vanity to them; the brothers stay true to their roots, to their passion for music, and to themselves, on and off the stage.

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