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Brothers Comatose offer lively Americana mix
Written by David Dupont   
Monday, 02 September 2013 17:47
The Brothers Comatose have a 2012 South By Southwest Festival promotion video on their website called “The Living Room Sessions.” The video features the band sitting on some “slightly” used furniture in a wooded area, a beautiful backdrop for a rootsy string band.
During the performance a golden retriever pops in and out and snips the fiddler’s hand before his solo, the banjo picker drops into his trademark comatose playing style, and aside from the rustic outdoors setting, you get the sense that this is probably pretty close to a normal rehearsal for the quintet when they are not on the road.
While the video shoot makes for a nice promotion, in many respects it is also a representation of the roots of the band’s approach to eclectic American string band music. For 20-something band founders Alex (banjo and vocals) and Ben (guitar and vocals) Morrison, living room music is and will always be the foundation of their American musical experience.
“My mom was in a band and they used to practice all of the time at the house,” Ben said in a recent telephone interview.
“They had a lot of musician friends and they would have music parties at our house, usually on Sundays or on days when they didn’t have gigs. Everyone would just play, and that is what sparked the fire.”
Certainly there are numerous musicians around the world that were initially attracted to a particular instrument, genre, style or sound through growing up with the music around them. No different for the Morrison brothers, who listened closely and eagerly sought to participate in the energetic folk and bluegrass musical environment.
“I really distinctly remember people coming over and calling out songs and then everyone being able to play it,” Ben said.
“Everyone just knew what to do and that was just really inspiring when you are a kid and watching and really wanting to be a part of it.”
For the Morrison brothers this early introduction to American folk music has come full circle through The Brothers Comatose. Alex, Ben and band bassist Gio Beneditti, had departures into rock and punk rock, but eventually gravitated back to acoustic instruments and music.
While the instruments and means of amplification changed, the energy of experience the music parties as kids, coupled with their time exploring edgier punk rock, serves as the foundation for the sound of The Brothers Comatose. The addition of fiddler Philip Brezina and mandolinist Ryan Avellone has helped the band bring together string band and rock music into a cohesive and attractive sound that is not traditional bluegrass, but that certainly captures its energy and essence.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 September 2013 17:49
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