After being labeled “The Simon and Garfunkel of the Prairies” by CBC radio, and subsequently releasing their debut album to a sold-out crowd at the Park Theatre (Winnipeg, 2009), the Other Brothers firmly rooted themselves in the prairie folk music scene.
Since its release, Points of View has captured a growing audience. The Brothers — Chris Neufeld, Donovan Giesbrecht, and William J. Western (now an official, full patch member) — are regularly featured on CBC radio, CFAM, and campus stations CKUW and UMFM, where they charted in the top ten throughout the summer months, including a #1 listing for 3 consecutive weeks (UMFM).
Their live performances tap into the core of the folk music tradition: simplicity, authenticity, and humour. They are crafty storytellers and mindful songwriters, delivering memorable melodies with harmony. Audiences leave wanting more.
Chris’s solo career had already garnered a significant amount of attention. After being featured on CBC radio’s Culture Shock, and sharing the stage with the likes of Fred Eaglesmith and Nathan, Chris’s debut CD, Colorado Low, was met with eager anticipation. It did not disappoint. The record ranked #1 for three weeks on the UMFM campus charts, and was later selected as one of the top ten albums of 2005. Those who have heard Chris live—whether on stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Brandon Folk Music and Arts Festival, or the West End Cultural Centre—will agree with Jo Snyder of Stylus Magazine: “His is one of the most alluring voices I have ever heard.”
Donovan had also been turning heads with his solo performances. That said, his supporters have more likely seen him promoting other Manitoban talents than seeking attention for himself. Donovan was a founding member of Manitoba’s Mennofolk Festival, now a thriving annual event celebrating young talent within the Mennonite community. In 2007, he sang background vocals on Cara Luft’s The Light Fantastic—her first project since her involvement with The Wailin’ Jennys—and he continues to contribute to her live concerts. Still, over the years, solo performances at the Back Forty Folk Festival, Academy Coffee Company, and the West End Cultural Centre have kept audiences loyal and waiting for more.
Bill has been a staple in the Winnipeg music scene for years; he is a sought after multi-instrumentalist for studio sessions and live performances, and is respected for his active listening and arrangement skills. He has provided Pedal Steel support for the likes of Del Barber, Quinton Blair, Grant Davidson, Cara Luft, and Nathan amongst a variety of other Artists. Bill recently co-Produced Del Barber’s 2014 release, Prairieography, and learned much while taking on a new musical role. Bill’s role with The Other Brothers is integral. Where Don and Chris set the table with songs and harmonies, Bill is largely responsible for the mood, tone, and flavour of the eventual arrangements.
Bill has also served as a musician mentor of sorts, as Don and Chris delve into the world of drums and electric guitars for the Brothers’ brand new album Everything Can Change. While harmony and story are still central, the new songs are given an opportunity to build where before they were contained. The result is an album with depth, and character, and intrigue; it is sure to impress.
In a genre dominated by the solo singer-songwriter, the Other Brothers are set apart by the natural blend of their vocals and mature arrangements, and are quickly being recognized as “one of the better bands of the genre”(Stylus Magazine, October 2009).
Head In The Sand – Record production
Simon Neufeld / The Land – Music. Oh, and website design
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