Hip Hop Country Rock, Blue-eyed Soul and
Rock ‘n’ Roll, mix it with the Blues and…
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Forbes Brothers.
Only in 2008 would such a musical stew be possible.
Fueled by the songwriting of Scott and Dennis Forbes,
the band has forged a unique sound and style all its own.
Drawing from a palette that includes country, blues, rock
and Motown, the band creates music that transcends traditional
In addition to the brothers on guitar and vocals,
the Forbes Brothers are George Canterbury on keyboards,
Tom Hollyer on guitar, banjo, mandolin and dobro,
Dave Jack on drums, Ron Jacobs on vocals and harmonica, and
Jon Ross on bass and vocals.
The Forbes Brothers have been bringing down the
house all over Michigan as Detroit’s premier country
rockers. Dominating the field with 25 Detroit Music
Awards to their credit, including Outstanding Country Recording for 2004,
they are the only Michigan act given prime billing the world’s
largest free outdoor country festival, the Budweiser
Downtown Detroit Hoedown.
They’ve shared the stage with such top national
acts as Diamond Rio, George Jones, Tanya Tucker,
Lee Ann Womack, Lonestar, The Kentucky Headhunters,
Trace Adkins, and many others. They have recorded
with Earl Klugh, Mitch Ryder, longtime Motown
guitarist Dennis Coffey, and Kid Rock protégés,
The Howlin’ Diablos.
The Forbes Brothers song "Two Step" was featured in the hit 2007 Dreamworks movie "Disturbia" starring Shia LaBeouf. And the song "Over Again" was featured in the hit CBS drama "Criminal Minds" in the fall of 2007. Watch for their new CD, Fire on Main Street in the summer of 2008.
Scott Forbes - guitar
Dennis Forbes - guitar
Tom Hollyer - guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro
Dave Jack - drums
Ron Jacobs - vocals
George Canterbury - keyboards
Jon Ross- bass
The Wrong End of the Bar - released in 2003,
won the 2004 Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding
Country Recording. Two cuts on the CD have received
significant airplay on WFBE, Flint, Michigans leading country
The Forbes Brothers At the Crossroads
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Attention Ann Arbor academics, information technology professionals, environmental activists, vegans...Attention Ann Arbor academics, information technology professionals, environmental activists, vegans, proteomics researchers, silversmiths, and art historians: you don't have to pretend anymore. Your secret love of gut-stomping, twanging, Dee-troit-flavored country music need hide in the dark no longer. You love country music, and it's okay. When the Forbes Brothers take the stage at the Ark, you will be in a Safe Place with others of your kind.
I'd been hearing about these guys forever. They've been snatching up all manner of plaques and valuable certificates (twenty-three — I counted) at the Detroit Music Awards for over a decade. They've shared the stage with such top national acts as Diamond Rio, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Lee Ann Womack, Lonestar, the Kentucky Headhunters, Trace Adkins, and many others. They have recorded with Earl Klugh, Mitch Ryder, longtime Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey, and Kid Rock protégés the Howlin' Diablos. When a friend showed me their brand-new CD, The Wrong End of the Bar, I had no trouble permanently borrowing it.
Here are twelve good, solid country songs, seasoned with musical influences — rock, rap, and soul — that flow freely through both the air and the airwaves of Motown. Scott and Dennis Forbes are solid songwriters, well schooled in classic country song forms and the ubiquitous rules regarding soaring choruses achieved within 45.6 seconds. The album kicks off with "Opening Act," a good-naturedly sardonic paean to the thankless but ultimately necessary duties of all semi-ignored openers. It's all there in its backstage glory: the glimpses of the headliner, the wristbands that prove you really do belong on the stage, the friends and their loyalty. But the Forbes Brothers can, and do, dig a lot deeper, in songs like the funky, mostly spoken "Last Lost Highway." More than a few country songs start off with railroad tracks, and "The Difference" is one of them, but this one quickly sets itself apart, taking the listener from Salerno to Corsica to "a beach called Omaha," with a heartfelt message to the soldiers of World War II — to all soldiers, really.
A recent Free Press review of this album says that the songwriting "rivals — even surpasses — much of what's coming out of mainstream Nashville nowadays." I'm inclined to agree, although, as everyone knows by now, that has little to do with success in this airbrushed era of Nashvegas music, when each twang must be perfectly equalized and every singer picture-perfect and preferably adolescent. But there's a place for a band like the Forbes Brothers — in the bars and festivals of their home state, beloved by their legions of fans, who know all the words and sing along. This seven-piece band rarely ventures to our town (I wonder why), but it'll be at the Ark on Thursday, August 12. You're more than welcome to grab a beer and try out the band's most undeniably hooky tune:
Hip-hop, country-rock, blue-eyed soul, and rock 'n' roll:
Mix it with the blues, and I'll meet you at the crossroads.
Come on, Ann Arbor, you know you want to.
Detroit disc: The right end of country
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"We are an opening act with no hit record playing to a house that's packed," front man Ron Jacobs si..."We are an opening act with no hit record playing to a house that's packed," front man Ron Jacobs sings during the opening moments of "The Wrong End of the Bar," the first album from Detroit's enduring Forbes Brothers since the mid-'90s.
A few tracks later, on "Hip Hop Country Rock," Jacobs bitingly addresses just how tough it can be for a country band from the Motor City to be taken seriously in Music City: "The man down in Nashville said say that again/ You're a country band from Michigan/ He said you gotta be from here and that is all/ That man never spoke with a Southern drawl."
If the Forbes Brothers are sounding a little frustrated these days, well, they have reason to. They've been pleasing enthusiastic hometown crowds with a mix of country and country-rock since 1990, they've shared stages with everyone from Lonestar to George Jones, and the songwriting on their new album rivals -- even surpasses -- much of what's coming out of mainstream Nashville nowadays. But the breakthrough moment that could take the band's career to the next level has yet to arrive.
On the new album, the seven-man outfit dabbles in pop-leaning, mainstream country ("Over Again," which would be right at home on a Diamond Rio disc) and comes through for country traditionalists with the first-rate, banjo-tinged "Tell Me." However, it's the tracks that showcase the Forbes Brothers' unique Dee-troit country sound -- an oddball hybrid that mixes hillbilly harmonies and old-time rock 'n' roll with just a hint of R&B -- that provide the most memorable moments. Best examples? The soulful "Lovers in Dreams" and the Hank Williams-inspired "Last Lost Highway," a country rap with a killer chorus that just won't quit.
Scott and Dennis Forbes and company have done some darn good songcrafting on "The Wrong End of the Bar." These tunes catch your ear, hook you and leave you humming them for days. In an world that valued music over image, youth and marketing tricks, they'd be heard -- and hummed -- well beyond the confines of Motown.
By Greg Crawford,
Free Press staff writer
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"Well, this is something new: Instead of Kid Rock shouting out his favorite country artists, we have..."Well, this is something new: Instead of Kid Rock shouting out his favorite country artists, we have a country band name-checking Kid Rock. It seems a little tongue in cheek though, considering the song in which the Forbes Brothers say the line "Nugent, Seger, Ryder and Kid Rock" is called "Hip- Hop Country Rock." Certainly a one-of-a-kind band in Michigan, the Forbes Brothers are contemporary country mavericks - no holds barred, no hip factor, just mature musicians writing top-notch modern country delicacies. Dipped in a bit of bluesy ink not unlike Dwight Yoakam (without the sex appeal), and contemporary country do-gooders like Sawyer Brown or Diamond Rio, the Forbes Brothers are a marvelous contemporary country band that combine elements of blues, bluegrass, rock 'n' roll with a good attitude and back it up with experience and know-how. Detroit has never been known for its country music - traditional or alternative - but that doesn't mean people aren't doing it and doing it well."
Reason to Buy: You enjoy contemporary country without the bare midriff.
Best Listening Experience: The storytelling "Last Lost Highway," for referencing Hank Williams.
I’ve Been Travellin’
Lovers in Dreams
Hip Hop Country Rock
Wrong End of the Bar
Maybe Just Once
Been There, Done That
Dead Flowers (Rolling Stones cover)
Many, many more. We have over 30 original tunes in our repertoire as well as many interesting covers.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.