Deep in the woods around Wilson Creek, the five-man Sunshine Coast band Brothers in Farms is preparing to launch their new album in a series of concerts they’re calling the Local Love All Coast Album Tour.
The band has been gathering in their funky, rural, wood-and-glass hideaway once a week to fine-tune the performances of the nine original songs on this, their fourth album in the seven years they’ve played together. It’s a collection of music delivered after what, for them, has been an unusually long labour.
“We’ve had such a roller coaster with this record,” singer-guitarist Chris Hergesheimer told Coast Reporter. “Our first three records, we’d make kind of live, off-the-floor. We’d do a couple of edits and just push them out. We did each of those albums – from the time we started until the time we released them – in about 30 days.” This one has taken more than 18 months.
“We weren’t content just to do the same thing where I had an idea for a riff and some lyrics and kind of put it out there and the band played with it, from which we did get great songs,” Hergesheimer said. “We were really good at doing that.” With this project, keyboardist Kevin Stremlaw started taking a bigger role in helping craft the music, Hergesheimer noted. “He has a very deep musical knowledge, and we got more complex with the song-writing. We wrote this whole new suite of songs and about a year ago we tried to record it a couple different ways, with multi-tracking and a click track. Then it just became so much work to do, and admittedly, it sounded a bit flat. We knew we had to get back to what we do well, which is performing [and recording] in our space. We just needed to capture what we do in there.”
Taking more time to work on the songs through the multi-tracking experiment only made them better, said Hergesheimer. “And now we’re really happy with the end result. It’s that full Brothers in Farms live energy. But it’s definitely the most mature of our four records. People are in for a real treat. It’s all over the map, in terms of the style of music. We’ve always done a little bit of that but this one really showcases the advancements of each of us musically. Clarence Deis, our bass player, is also a very skilled engineer. He’s really put in a lot of time to make it sound great.”
The band – which, along with Hergesheimer, Stremlaw, and Deis, includes Jim Dorey on accordion and vocals, and drummer Kelly Backs – describes what it does as “true West Coast pop music mashed up with world sounds. Doling out a non-stop, high-energy mix of roots, reggae, funk, Latin, pop and Balkan rhythms, this group of musicians creates high energy dance music that appeals to listeners of all ages.”
Brothers in Farms plays the outdoor stage at Roberts Creek Legion on Friday, Aug. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. and the Rockwood Pavilion in Sechelt on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. The Rockwood is the biggest performance venue on the Coast, but to maintain safe distancing, only 40 tickets will be sold. Further small-scale shows are in the works for August and will be announced on the Brothers in Farms Facebook page, along with ticket information for all shows. Tickets for the Legion show can be found at www.rclegionevents.com. Rockwood show tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets: www.m.bpt.me/event/4653014
Hergesheimer says they can’t wait to get back to live gigs, even with necessarily small audiences. “We have to reconfigure the way we do [live] music. We’re going to have to adjust. I’d rather have crowd participation, even in small numbers, than live-stream for 500 people.”