Recently celebrating their first full-length release, “Manifest”, and nominated Best Local Band in the D.C. area, Brother Shamus has been pumping out all original southern rock since 2004. From foot-tapping funk to smoky ballads, it's a guarantee that these guys will have you on your feet by the end of the night.
M. Todd Miller - Guitar/Lead Vocals
James Main - Drums & Percussion
Aaron Keener - Lead Guitar
Mike Provenzano - Keyboards &Vocals
Taylor Brose - Vocals, Bass
EP - Any Ole Headshoppe
LP - Manifest
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Now this is some good music. Sophisticated, varied bluesy rock. Brother Shamus’ recent release “Mani...Now this is some good music. Sophisticated, varied bluesy rock. Brother Shamus’ recent release “Manifest,” the Arlington group’s first full-length effort, is foot-tapping funky and lyrically strong. The title track starts slowly, then picks up, and you realize this band means business. The song “State” is more funky (“forget the sweet sunshine/if you’re impatient for a taste of the underground,” sings Todd Miller). The upbeat “Josephine” has more of a groove (“killing time is killing me”), and “Reverends and Spartans” is a beautiful, smoky ballad. The saxophone kicking off “Hypnotic Moon” is killer, and the musicianship is crisp throughout. This is good chillin’ music, good cruisn’ music and no doubt solid live. Definitely worth a pick up.
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Live! Who: Brother Shamus When: 9 p.m. tonight Where: Evening Star Cafe, Alexandria Thursday, Au...Live!
Who: Brother Shamus When: 9 p.m. tonight
Where: Evening Star Cafe, Alexandria
Thursday, August 2, 2007
What happens when a bunch of longtime pals, all of whom have played in separate bands, finally come together to start a new outfit? According to Richard Delos Reyes, bassist and vocalist for the quintet Brother Shamus, "it strengthens our friendship even more that we have another [musical] relationship." He said that his cohorts -- M. Todd Miller (lead vocals, guitar), Eddie Hartness (drums, vocals), Bobby Thompson (slide guitar, guitar)and James Main (percussion, vocals) -- took it "one bridge at a time" while working out the new commitment, but "now I liken it to my marriage. With that kind of respect and trust, that's great."
You can enjoy the good vibes, professional and personal, when the group appears tonight at Evening Star Cafe's No. 9 Lounge, the upstairs retreat where patrons relax on over-stuffed couches with drinks from a full-service bar.
"It's really a cool little hip place down in Del Ray . . . a lot of old locals, I being one of them," Reyes said. "Neighborhoods need places like this, with the neighborhood mentality."
Although Brother Shamus is becoming known in the Washington area for its joyful blend of folk, rock and Southern funk and can do high-voltage concerts with the best of the scene, Evening Star shows tend to have a more mellow feel.
"No cover. No drink minimum, very chill," as Reyes described it. "Don't expect a huge light show or anything like that. We do an acoustic set."
Then again, the guys in Brother Shamus (fans of the film "The Big Lebowski" will get the reference) are used to switching things up. Reyes said that the members had "probably about nine years of playing together" in various configurations, hanging around the open mic night at the Iota Club and Cafe. For a while, Main, Miller and he were together in the party band Lucky Dog, which was the house band at D.C.'s Madam's Organ.
About three years ago, Miller asked Reyes to play on some new songs he'd written.
"When someone says that they're working on a couple of originals, you never expect that this person will come out with a catalog -- and he did," Reyes said.
The three ex-Lucky Dogs became Brother Shamus with the addition of Thompson and Hartness, the latter juggling responsibilities with his nationally known outfit, Eddie from Ohio. Hartness is not from the Buckeye State but is an Arlington native.
Sharing a band member with another group can be challenging, Reyes said, "but our beautiful manager, Jenny, more or less trained us all as musicians to be responsible about our schedule. . . . When we cannot play as a full unit, we go out as a trio. We affectionately call it Shamus Light."
Although the connection might naturally lead to some curious new fans checking out Brother Shamus, Reyes said, "Eddie was very adamant, and we understood why, that he did not want [us] to ride on the coattails of Eddie from Ohio. We really should do this on our own."
With more than 60 original songs in its catalog, an EP and full-length CD available through http://www.brothershamusmusic.com and a nod last year as Best Local Band in the D.C. area on WUSA9.com's A-List 2006, Brother Shamus is on its own way.
-- MARIANNE MEYER
We play all original music, with maybe 2-3 covers over the course of an evening. Typically we'll play 2-3 one-hour sets, if we're headlining.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.