The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 24, 2013

The Brummy Brothers will be serving up a hootenanny

By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item

— BLOOMSBURG -- Craigslist, the catch-all website where one can find everything from love to lawn chairs, served as the connector for several New Jersey musicians eager to start a band.

And oh brother, what a band it is.

Tonight the Turkey Hill Brewing Company will welcome The Brummy Brothers to this neck of the woods for a show best described as a good, old-fashioned hootenanny.

“We play bluegrass instruments but use that term to describe ourselves loosely. We play original music with bluegrass instrumentation and add in all of our influences which range from jazz to classic rock and everything in between,” said Eric Brumberg, mandolin player, singer and one of the brothers in the fledgling band. “In order to really experience our music it must be seen live. We are very high energy and people often get our lyrics stuck in their heads. I guess some people just call that Americana nowadays, but I don’t know if we are even that.”

The band’s hybrid sound, a mixture of spot-on harmonies with a slight folksy undertone, works so well because the group members are friends as well as musicians.

While all four band members sing, Dave Brumberg works the bass, Russell Gottlieb does wonders on music’s most trod-upon instrument, the banjo, while Andrew Morris rocks the acoustic guitar.

Together the band creates a sound reminiscent of a dusty old vinyl recording spun with a youthful twist.

“The fact is, we play original music that is true to us and our musical backgrounds, as any rock, funk, or jam band would do. We just do it with bluegrass instruments,” Brumberg said. Referring to what sets the band apart from all the other groups out there vying for attention, he added, “the other thing is people really seem to love and relate to our lyrics.”

Those lyrics fill their debut album, “Down to Pluck,” that was recorded in a 10-hour stretch last year on a warm August night.

Their songs are colorful and at times reach the threshold of being blush-inducing. And so far, people like what they hear.

“We have shared many highlights in our short time as a band.  Seeing the band grow and being accepted to many well-known venues and festivals is a huge part,” Brumberg said. “I think more rewarding then that is seeing people come back and see us again and singing along to the songs. We often get complimented on our songwriting and catchiness of songs which is a big accomplishment and part of why we have grown so quickly.”

In addition to performing at such noted venues as the Brooklyn Bowl, the Catskill Chill Music Festival and The Blockley in Philadelphia, the band has also opened for jazz legend Bill Evan.

“It’s always great performing at new places and inspiring people with music. We did a lot of traveling this summer, playing somewhere around 50 shows, most of which were in new places. It’s all a wonderful part of growing as a band,” said Brumberg.

The Brummy Brothers, a name Eric and his brother picked up in high school, are looking forward to performing at Turkey Hill and bringing their hard-to-peg style of music to a new crowd. 

“Bluegrass music — or whatever you want to call it —  is really rooted into the American people and everyone can relate to it in some way. People who do not feel that they like bluegrass have come up to us after a show and said they are now fans,” Brumberg said. “We truly love what we do and you will always walk away from a show with a positive experience in one way or another.”