Posted On 23 Jul 2015
Tag: Alabama Shakes, Alex Morrison, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, allaccessmusicnicole, Bay Area, Ben Morrison, BottleRock, BottleRock Napa, Brothers Comatose, California, Devil Makes Three, Festival, Foo Fighters, Huey Lewis, Huey Lewis and the News, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Lake Street Drive, Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger, Morning Time, Music, Music Festival, Napa, Nicki Bluhm, North Carolina, Northern California, Outside Lands, Outside Lands Festival, Petaluma, Phil Brezina, Philadelphia, Pickathon, Pickathon Festival, Respect The Van, Robert Plant, Rolling Stones, Ryan Avellone, Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, san diego, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Silk Hope, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Summer Meltdown, Summer Meltdown Festival, summer music festival, The Brothers Comatose, The Rolling Stones, Yonder Mountain String Band, Zeppelin
Despite their name, The Brothers Comatose have become known nation-wide for lively, high-energy performances. This 5-piece string band from San Francisco blends Americana, Folk and Bluegrass with concise song writing to create a unique experience that leaves audiences wanting more.
“It’s just one, big, extended Morrison music party,” they say. Ben and Alex Morrison, guitar and banjo, and lead vocalists, front this rocking string band that has become a West coast headliner and national touring act in a mere four years. With stellar accompanists Phil Brezina on fiddle and Ryan Avellone on mandolin, their high energy, audience engaging shows have caught fire with fans from San Diego to Seattle to Salt Lake to Silk Hope, NC and beyond. In home turf Northern California they sell out shows in San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Petaluma and are booked at the enormous Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this August.
During early 2014 the band enjoyed incredible success on extended tours with Devil Makes Three and Yonder Mountain String Band which led to their own headline and festival touring this summer and fall.
At the heart of this remarkable ensemble are the songs. With two cds released and plans for a third album in 2015, the band draws from a deep knowledge of folk, rock, traditional and other genres. They can also slow down the pace with beautiful original ballads such as “Morning Time” which was released as a duet with Nicki Bluhm on their current CD, ‘Respect The Van‘.
The Brothers Comatose first festival, COMATOPIA is also coming up Aug 14-16, 2015 in Calpine, CA at the Sierra Valley Lodge (45 min north of Truckee) Along with The Brothers Comatose, the lineup includes: Hot Buttered Run, Steve Poltz, The Same Chase & The Untraditional, The Easy Leaves & The Dixie Giants. To learn more about COMATOPIA and purchase tix, read more here: bit.ly/comatopia2015
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to catch up with guitarist, Ben Morrison after their performance at BottleRock Napa between jamming out and wine tasting. Read more in their interview below!
Hey there Ben! How are you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hey…we’re doing great. We have the day off today and we’re heading to Philadelphia. A family friend is taking us to see the Foo Fighters tonight. We’re getting our mainstream rock on tonight!
So, first things first, I recently saw you guys play at BottleRock Napa. How did you enjoy all the food, wine and music? What were the highlights for you?
That festival was awesome! It was such a huge production. I’ve never been on such a huge stage in my life. There were like 5 jumbotrons. I couldn’t believe it. Everything was great : the food, the wine they stocked backstage…everything. They treated us really well.
For those that are not familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start? Who or what was the catalyst for you to want to live the life of a musical gypsy?
Our band started about 7 years ago. My brother, Alex (who is the banjo player in the band) and I grew up in a musical household. We started playing together as a duo a few years before the band got started. We grew up around a bunch of musicians in Sonoma County so all that rubbed off on us.
You guys grew up in a house that was known for its music parties. If you could pick anyone off your wish list, who would you love to invite over to your house and jam with?
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant…or maybe Mick and Keith. Alex and I grew up on heavy doses of classic rock and we loved Zeppelin and the Stones. That would be pretty magical.
Who have been your inspirations growing up that also inspire you today?
Definitely the musicians we grew up around. Our mom and her band mates from when we were kids were huge influences. We would sit there for hours and watch them rehearse, soaking it all in. I still remember that vividly. Obviously, all the bands we listened to were huge influences but it was the musicians in our immediate lives that really had the deep effect on what we’re doing today.
What did you learn between your previous releases, collaborations and playing live, that you felt you wanted to infuse into your latest work?
We played close to 150 shows last year. We really developed as a band and were able to hone our live show. That was a huge help when we went into the studio to record our album.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
I was a huge Huey Lewis and the News fan when I was a little kid. He was local to the Bay Area and my mom’s friend got me a signed Huey postcard. It was my greatest possession at the time. I was completely obsessed with his album Sports when I was young. So, it’s not really a song but a whole album I first fell in love with.
What was the first album you purchased for yourself?
That Huey Lewis album was the first one I bought. I think I used some tooth fairy money to buy it.
Who is in your current playlist? What artists or bands are in current rotation for you?
I’ve been listening to lots of Lake Street Dive and Alabama Shakes. I’m a sucker for great female vocalists.
What’s on tap next for you guys? What are you most excited about for this year?
This year has been the best in terms of shows and festivals thus far as a band. We were finally able to break into ones we’ve tried to get into for years….BottleRock Napa being one of them.
In a couple weeks we’re headed to the Northwest to play Pickathon and Summer Meltdown – two great festivals we’ve been hearing about for a long time.
Also, we’re releasing a new album later this year. We just finished recording and we’re excited to get some new music out there in the world.
To learn more about THE BROTHERS COMATOSE , visit them HERE