The Brummy Brothers
21 July 2015 - Quixote’s True Blue - Denver, CO
for The Lot Scene by Parker
The scene was set at Quixote’s True Blue in Denver for some great string band music care of New Jersey’s own The Brummy Brothers. We at The Lot Scene had the good fortune to be working with the Brummys over the past month or so helping to promote their first ever Colorado run, so I was very ready to catch their sound live for the first time after all that prep. The band kicked things off right at 10PM with “Quiet Life”, a selection that opened up the showcase of the quartet of talent on the stage. From the very beginning it was plain to see that these boys meant business. And that business was to be some hard drivin’ fast pickin’ before the night was through. As evinced by the wicked banjo solo from Russell Gottlieb and the groovy bass runs of Dave Brumberg. Already I was very intrigued as to what might come next. The best way to get a sense of their sound, however, is to take a look and listen yourself with their second song, “Mountain”:
They took this immediately into “No Good” with lead vocals by Andrew Morris and yet more sizzling banjo from Russell, a theme that would continue all night. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t stress just how much each of these guys can shred on their respective instruments — of their abilities there can be no doubts. Eric Brumberg stepped up to the mic for their next song, “H&M”, which had a really powerful chorus about the wind and how it knocks you down yet picks you up again. Not to mention the white hot mandolin solo we got from Eric accompanied perfectly by Russell’s banjo and Andrew’s guitar. Really fantastic song. They took this into a really spaced-out and lengthy jam which featured a round robin of solos, each one superb. This, in turn, they slammed right into “Hub City Hoedown” which they followed with a rock solid version of the Dead’s “Jack Straw”, which was rather fitting given our location. And they nailed it. Nothing like a fast pickin’ version, too…Andrew and Russell both tore their fretboards up during their solos. Holy crap can those cat pick!! I also wanted to take a second to throw some admiration Dave Brumberg’s way: I really dig the way he plays the bass. He approaches it with an incredible energy as well as multiple techniques and a great deal of breadth. You can really hear how his lower register lines bolster the melodies and harmonies above through his unique bass line movement and playing style. Makes for a tight ensemble sound. Dave then busted out his tenor voice for us on “Batshit Crazy” which followed “Jack Straw”. Low instrument, high voice — great combo. Finally, the set closed out with “Light” and Andrew back on lead vocals. Some really, really beautiful vocal harmonies in this one — a clear favorite of mine from this set. And, man, what a set! Made me as well as the rest of the crowd anxious for more. Quick set break first, though…
“Sins and Lies” was the mellower second set opener, again featuring some really fine harmonies. I was really beginning to dig that aspect of the band. Things picked up at the end for a nice instrumental jam that took things to a close. They elided “Sins” right into “Time” with Dave back on vocals once again and more speedy guitar work from Andrew. Next up was a track called “Potato” from their new album, On Our Way. This is a catchy little ditty to be sure. And not the only reason to check out On Our Way. Nothing like a grass version of your favorite reggae songs, right? That’s why their version of Marley’s “Three Little Birds” was especially welcomed and appreciated last night. It was a truly lovely version. Good times. Then it was time for a Colorado dedication, something special just for us. “Weed, Whiskey, and Women” (also from their album) is quite the anthem, let there be no doubt. I am sure you can surmise the subject matter, however, trust me the song is even better than the title. The monster breakdown at the end of this one was, in a word, stellar. Just fan-freakin’-tastic. The tongue-in-cheek “Cigarettes and Yuengling” came next followed by the intense and driving “Jersey Devil” with Eric back up to the mic to tell us the frightening tale. As if pandering to me, they chose another cover, this time from my favorite band, Pink Floyd: “Have a Cigar”. Not only my favorite band but a favorite song from them, too. I was in grassed out acid rock heaven. Dave Brumberg gave us his best Waters and knocked it out of the park. Not to mention the dirty incredible jam at the end. Just. Simply. Amazing. Thank you for that one, fellas!! Then it was fast pickin’ right up until the end with “Boston” going right into the speedy “Cell Phone Blues”. Damn, was that a great show. But, wait, there’s more!! The Brummys came back out to bang out an unplugged encore for us. And a sweet, sweet “China Cat Sunflower”, too!! The icing on the cake of one hell of a show. Looking so forward to continuing this Colorado run with them in Boulder at Owsley’s Golden Road — stay tuned for more to come!!