Fieldwork Brewing Company 2nd Anniversary Party
The Brothers Comatose
Goodnight, Texas, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Ghost of Paul Revere
2036 University Avenue
near Downtown Berkeley BART
Berkeley, CA, 94704
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
The Brothers Comatose
Expansive, uplifting, and just downright beautiful, City Painted Gold is one of the most anticipated records of the coming year – certainly amongst the loyal fans The Brothers Comatose have won while touring across the country in support of their past two releases. Infused with a sense of relaxed, experienced confdence, The Brothers Comatose ofer a southwestern-tinged, rowdy stringband sound that might just make this your new favorite record before you turn it over to side B.
Walking lockstep with their undeniable top-fight musicianship is an easy humility. “It's just one, big, extended Morrison music party,” they say. Brothers 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 handful of years. With bassmaster Gio Benedetti and stellar accompanists Philip Brezina on fddle and Ryan Avellone on mandolin, their high energy, audience engaging shows have caught fre with fans from San Diego to Seattle to Salt Lake to Silk
Hope, NC and beyond. “It all sort of started before we ever picked up instruments” explains Ben. “Our mom was in a folk quartet that sang beautiful songs in harmony. Alex and I would watch them rehearse for hours when we were kids.” Growing up around band rehearsals and music parties, the Morrison brothers eventually found themselves with instruments in their hands. Ben started playing on his dad's acoustic guitar and Alex happened upon a banjo that someone had left behind after a household music party.
The brothers learned a mess of classic rock covers, playing casually in their living room and around campfres (and at those famous Morrison music parties) for the next few years. Eventually their genre of choice drifted to broad-stoke Americana and a buddy asked them to come record a few tunes in his garage. Their friend Benedetti had been studying upright bass and they called him up for the session. He couldn't make it that day but shortly after they all began playing together. They needed a few more good players to round out their sound, and the brothers put up fiers all around San Francisco. A few people answered, including Philip Brezina, at the time pursuing a Master’s degree in violin performance at the Conservatory of Music. “When he showed up, I thought, who the hell is this guy?” says Ben. “He's kind of a redneck but he's getting his masters in classical violin. Turned out to work pretty well.” Avellone had shared bills with the Brothers a few times over the years in other bands and was a perfect ft. Ben called him up, and “next thing you know, he's our mandolin player.”
Soon enough they put the axe to the grindstone, releasing two critically acclaimed records in Songs From The Stoop (2010) and Respect the Van (2012). Those releases led to extended tours with Devil Makes Three, Yonder Mountain String Band and Lake Street Dive, which in turn led to their own headlining club tours and festival appearances including the likes of High Sierra, Delfest, Outside Lands and Pickathon.
When it came to write their third record, the now-seasoned road warriors returned to their home of fourteen years in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. “We wrote this album living in San Francisco as it was changing from a weird, art friendly mecca to a place that only super rich tech workers could aford,” tells Ben.
“Things started changing - venues were closing down, and artist and musician friends moved away. What is San Francisco without its weirdos? That's what the song City Painted Gold is about and that's why it’s the name of this record.” Shortly after completing the record, The Brothers Comatose themselves joined the ranks of the displaced.
Eviction brings change, and change inspires creativity. When our heroes got booted from their home city of over a decade, they did not despair – no! They wrote a new and wonderful album. If our heroes maintain their current trajectory we should all be really rather excited about what the future holds.
If you take out a map and measure the midway point between San Francisco and Chapel Hill, North Carolina — the homes of songwriters Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf, respectively — you'll find an unincorporated town called Goodnight, Texas (population at last count: 18). That's what the duo discovered when they went looking for the center of their long-distance collaboration, a musical project that sounds, appropriately enough, like a cross-country drive on Interstate 40: Expansive, full of possibility, American in every sense of the word — the perfect place for missing someone but regretting nothing, for losing yourself in the crackle of guitar through speakers and having a good long think.
After meeting in San Francisco in 2007, Vinocur and Wolf built a friendship based on trading words and tunes. "I had never been able to sing with anyone before Pat. I was terrible at it," says Vinocur. "But I didn't even have to try to harmonize with him. I still sort of have a hard time believing how easy it still is." When Wolf moved to North Carolina in 2009, the songwriters kept in touch, finding their stylistic midpoint amidst banjo, guitar and mandolin, a love of working-class anthems. Though the two singers have notably different styles — Wolf showcasing a life long love of acoustic folk; Vinocur clearly comes from the world of garage rock, and leans toward darker blues — the duo shared a mutual admiration and easy harmony, as well as a fascination with late
19th century small-town America: A vision of a grittier, simpler world, full of raw pain and mysterious beauty. In 2012, after picking up a rhythm section (Alex Nash and Scott G. Padden), Goodnight, Texas released their debut LP, A Long Life of Living, to much critical acclaim.
The band's contagiously entertaining dynamic at live shows, as well as the album's energy, soul and range — from red-blooded, foot-stomping rock 'n' roll to wistful front porch ballads to haunting tales of doomed romance — has made devotees out of both music critics and a growing legion of fans spread out across the country. Goodnight, Texas spent the last year and a half out on the road, supporting acts like Shakey Graves and Rusted Root, in addition to playing two sold-out hometown shows at the Fillmore alongside Bombay Bicycle Club and Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers. The band released their sophomore record, Uncle John Farquhar, in the summer of 2014.
"It's a more upbeat, a little more fun, but it's still got some heaviness," says Wolf of the new record. "The highs are higher and the lows are lower." Vinocur, in particular, is excited to release "Dearest Sarah," based on an actual Civil War letter written from husband to wife in 1861, a song Vinocur's been working at for nearly eight years. "I wrote it in 2006 as a 4/4 acoustic guitar song and played it at two shows before taking it out of my set list." says Vinocur "It was a lot of lyrics to remember and I was worried I
would mess them up and ruin the song's impact. I knew it was a significant song to me, but it wasn't quite right yet." Vinocur says the song was "all but forgotten until I re-watched Ken Burns' Civil War where Sullivan Ballou's letter is read. Very shortly thereafter, on a particularly lonely trip to New Zealand in 2012, I re-learned it on a
rooftop in Auckland and switched it to mandolin and waltz time. I added the bridge riff and the whole vibe came together. Finally I felt it was done and we re corded for release on our new record, 8 years after I first wrote it."
The album itself is named for Wolf's great-great-great grandfather, and a sermon he delivered on the occasion of Abraham Lincoln's death graces the record's liner notes. "In my eyes, he serves as kind of the first entry in the scrapbook that is this album concept,"
says Wolf of the old photo of Farquhar that originally captured his imagination. "I was thinking of the album as a scrapbook - a collection of clippings over the course of the past century and a half," says Wolf. "The oldest entries of the album package relate to
John Farquhar, who was my maternal great-great-great grandfather, a minister in Lancaster PA: the cover of his Abraham Lincoln sermon is the cover of the liner notes booklet. Inside the booklet a letter that he wrote to his cousin in Massachusetts during
the Civil War after visiting makeshift hospitals right outside the battle of Gettysburg. These documents are sort of the anchor of the work, so we've got this familial link to a seminal point in America's history and an example of both his (John Farquar's) public and private voices."
Americana is arguably an overused term at the moment — but what sets Goodnight, Texas apart from the pack is its richly imagined, full-color stories. In the longstanding folk tradition of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash, Goodnight, Texas sings songs that are each a world in and of themselves — transporting listeners from the battlefields of the deep south to a saloon full of hard-drinking but good-natured regulars to the nervous feeling in the stomach of a poor boy about to ask for his girl's hand in
Uncle John Farquhar showcases this talent perhaps better than ever, with the two songwriters' styles playing off each other to great effect, balancing a wry sense of humor with an obvious respect for the ghosts of this country's past. Whether in Vinocur's realm of epic sagas of loss and animated hit-the-road tunes or Wolf's natural gift for deceptively sparse, emotion-driven songwriting, we can feel the sun-baked earth, taste the sweat of a day's labor, hear the hound dog howling in the yard. Our protagonists are lonely travelers and scorned lovers ad sympathetically conjured bank robbers, and for the duration of a song, we are rooting for them with all we've got.
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
In 2010, the five Wisconsinites that make up Horseshoes & Hand Grenades found themselves in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, WI, holding acoustic instruments and enjoying a hodgepodge of fermented beverages. Music and revelry ensued that evening and, while many of the party guests eventually bid their goodbye well into the morning hours, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades wasn't ready to let the get-together fade. Five years later, the music still hasn't stopped and the party is still going strong, from the mountain west to the river towns of the Midwest that the quintet calls home.
While strongly rooted in bluegrass, old-time, and folk music, the band produces a sound that draws on the vaults of music collectively and individually enjoyed throughout the course of their lives thus far. The music doesn't lend itself well to categories or boundaries. One could probably be formed, but the boys seem to generally prefer fishing a river, or enjoying the company of friends and barley beers.
With their music well-defined or not, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades has begun to form a place in the Midwest music scene, gaining recognition on both a regional and national scale. The band took 3rd place at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Band Competition in 2012 and has since shared the stage with Trampled By Turtles, The Travelin' McCourys, Railroad Earth, Merle Haggard, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marty Stuart, and many more. The group's third full-length Middle Western was released in March of 2015. Being mostly inspired by rivers, valleys, good friends, and good drink, this five-piece is as sturdy as any Midwest riverbed and will make your toes tap from sundown to sunrise.
Ghost of Paul Revere
Mumford & Sons meet the Avett Brothers with a twist of bluegrass. Old Crow Medicine Show with three-part harmonies. The Band for millennials… The Maine-grown, foot-stompin’ holler-folk quartet create the type of music for which festivals are made. - The Boston Globe
Born on the banks of the Saco River, brothers in all but name, the Ghost of Paul Revere is Maine's holler-folk band. A powerful, energetic, non-traditional American folk band that’s renowned for harmony fueled, heart-pounding performances full of songs with unique identities that remain undeniably the Ghost of Paul Revere.
Formed around childhood friends Max Davis, Sean McCarthy, and Griffin Sherry, joined by Matt Young on harmonica, the Ghost of Paul Revere played their first show together in 2011at a tiny bar in Portland, Maine. Now, they play across the nation, bringing holler-folk into houses, bars, and music halls. They have shared the stage with the Avett Brothers, The Travelin’ McCourys, Brown Bird, Spirit Family Reunion, Darlingside, as well as members of Greensky Bluegrass, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Old Crow Medicine Show.
Their critically acclaimed, Billboard charting full length album Believe, as well as their two EPs North and Field Notes Vol. 1, have continually been the top selling local albums in Maine and New Hampshire for more than four years. The Ghost of Paul Revere has since sold out Port City Music Hall, Stone Mountain Arts Center, and the Strand Theater multiple times, won Best In Maine at the 2014 New England Music Awards, were an official showcase artist at Folk Alliance International 2015 and made their Newport Folk Festival debut in August 2015. They capped off
2015 with an electrifying headline performance on New Year's eve at Portland's State Theatre in front of 1,600 enraptured fans.
In 2016, amidst touring nationally, they returned to the studio to craft their second full length album, engineered by Jonathan Wyman at Halo Studios and mastered by Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering. The album is expected to be released in early 2017.
"Robustly played, masterful amalgamation of bluegrass, folk, and gospel for the Millennial Generation... The Ghost of Paul Revere prove that superior roots music can come from anywhere." - No Depression
"Simply put, this band is one to see live... A gorgeous blend of bluegrass, folk and good old fashioned rock and roll... their performance takes on a boot-clacking brilliance that transforms each song into a full-on participatory event, sending an electric surge about the room that’s near impossible not to feel. Add to that a layered three part harmony coursing through each soulful song, and The Ghost of Paul Revere demonstrated they not only had the chops, but the heart to reach their audience and leave an undeniable impression as well. As the floorboards shook with each pounding stomp, one thing was certain: the band announced they had arrived, loud and clear." - Dispatch Magazine
"Simply put North is an album that shouldn't be missed. (It will) make even the most callous of individuals feel the unbridled joy of Holler-Folk." - Ear to the Ground Music
"A distinguished sound that only seasoned musicians can usually attain" - Portland Press Herald
"(The Ghost of Paul Revere) stole the show. I was so impressed with them. Their harmonies, stomping percussion, and vocal power were stellar... their songs progressed from mellow to powerhouse... their harmonies are superb and their songs have power." - whatbreesees.com