Bryce Clifford & Brother Superior
Gig Seeker Pro

Bryce Clifford & Brother Superior

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Americana





"The line up around the corner of C'est What last night gave some indication of what type of show it was going to be. Bryce Clifford gave a heart pounding performance with the energy level only letting up for a few slower numbers in the middle of the set." - Aonghus Kealy - "24 Hours", Toronto ON

"North by Northeast Festival Guide"

Influenced as much by British new-wave as the Band and Van Morrison, Clifford leads a heavy hitting band with his rueful and acerbic lyrics and bar room scarred vocals. - NOW Magazine

"15 Roots Music Artists to Catch at NXNE - Richard Flohil"

Toronto boy makes good in Texas, and brings hard-hitting Austin band here to meet the locals. Indie roots-rock who, sez the NXNE guide, “perform with a wheels-might-come-off intensity.” - FYI Music News

"Americana UK - *9 of 10 stars"

The Clifford Brothers consist of brothers, Brad & Bryce Clifford and this independently produced release was recorded in Austin over the last 12 months. The brothers are joined by Kim Deschamps (formerly Cowboy Junkies pedal steel player), Tony Scalzo (from the much under-rated Fastball) and Jon Blondell (Austin session player and Willie Nelson sideman).

The boys influences range from such stellar performers as Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, The Band and the great Paul Westerberg. Of the eleven tracks all but two are written by the Brad & Bryce, with two covers 'Shelter from the Storm' and Mike Scott's 'Always Dancing, Never Getting Tired'. Brad plays drums, while Bryce handles lead vocals, guitars, piano & harmonica.

Guest musicians also include Thomas van der Brook on tenor saxophone, violin, plus Rachel Lynn on backing vocals plus Brett Humphrey on harmonica. First track up is 'Home' and we are straight into top draw Americana, held together by some stunning pedal steel, drumming, piano and one of those guitar breaks that you wish you could play.

Telling a tale of lost love, 'And if my heart fails to bring you home, I'll blame myself, my words are desperate, they fail to move you' - it's a very strong start to the record. Next up is the buoyant 'College St' with a riff that The Fountains of Wayne would have been proud to have written. The upbeat tempo continues with 'All The Girls (Never Care Less)', and there is some fine trombone and guitar work, working together on this song, that sounds reminiscent of Chicago (before they went MOR) in their prime. Up next is the beautiful 'Beautiful Is Never Alone' - acoustic guitar, piano, tenor saxophone combine together with stunning, evocative lyrics 'I am the great traitor, that great hypocrite, for just one kiss could kill this loneliness, you're beautiful but it's just a sketch, you're as empty as me I bet' - clocking in at over 5 minutes this is one of the many stand out songs on this record.

The quality of the songs and playing never falters over the 40 plus minutes on the penultimate track 'Last Call In The North East' with it's haunting harmonica, guitar and lyrics clearly show that these brothers have the talent to make their mark, overall a very impressive record.

- Andy Riggs, Americana UK ( - Review of Signal The Sun

"The Americana Way: Bryce Clifford rides the Slowtrain to Bella"

I don't even know what Americana music is anymore - especially when it comes from Canada. But I'm pretty sure it's found it's way to Austin, Texas, the American capital of Americana, it qualifies as least somehow.

Maybe that's unfair to Austin. Maybe it's unfair to Canada (they are, after all, part of North America). Or maybe it's just a lazy way to pigeon-hole good music with certain amount of twang or jangle and a familiar chord progression.

Either way, Canadian singer/songwriter Bryce Clifford seems bound to this description of his music, just like the constant references he receives to Replacements-era Paul Westerberg and Elvis Costello. Believe me, the irony that Costello is not an American either isn’t lost on anyone. Somehow Clifford fits right into the Americana sound, just like he did in Austin when he arrived there from Toronto with his brother, Brad. Presumably the pair wanted to make a name for themselves in what is constantly agreed upon as being one of the best cities fro live music. With their collaborative tastes leaning more toward the twangier side of songcraft, Austin seemed like a logical destination.

It wasn’t long before the brothers had a new band and were making a name for themselves. Drawing attention from some of the more respected musicians from the Austin scene, they put out a record under the name Clifford. Entitled ‘Signal The Sun’, it received critical reviews and opened doors for the brothers and his band.

Since its release Bryce Clifford has continued to tour, both with his band to support the record, and as a solo artist. More recently, he spent some time away from the touring musician lifestyle and composed the theme music to a television documentary for Bravo! Canada, which aired last year. With a new record rumored to be on the way, Bryce remains a very active creator, collaborator and performer.

With a short tour that begins with a few dates in his native Ontario and continues in the American Northeast, Bryce Clifford will be coming through town this weekend on his way back to his American home in Austin. Armed with a catalog of songs that reflect his experiences of the past several years, it’s certain to be a night of great music that showcases why Clifford’s been able to make his recent mark on the Austin scene. It’s a bar set high and a city with a reputation that calls troubadours from all over to try their hand. Fortunately for Clifford, the move’s paid off.

Don’t miss Bryce Clifford and fellow Austin band Slowtrain, this Saturday Sept 1st, at Bella Fiesta. It’s a night of classical North Americana that needs to be experienced by all who enjoy truly great music, no matter where it is you call your home. Doors at 9pm.
- Adrian Varnam, 'Encore', Wilmington NC

"Bryce Clifford Brings It All Together"

After shooting my first arena show I was still in the mood for music, and alas a little libation as well. I headed over to the Hole in the wall to look over the nights images and began the buzz with a double Jameson on the rocks. After several passes through the shots, deleting the out of focus and dark ones, needed another drink and it was then that I ran into Bryce Clifford. Pleasantries were exchanged and it was agreed that I would stay and see his band.

I must say that I am glad that I did. I had seen Bryce play only once before and at that time he was doing a solo acoustic show. I remember the passion that he belted out to a very small audience on a Monday at Hanovers. I was impressed with him then and I was excited to see him with a full band.

His band was well rounded with keyboards (Adoniram Lipton), drums (Daniel Jones), base (Zachary Firnhaber), and a baritone sax player (Thomas Vanderbrook). From the first song I was enticed by what I heard. I heard an accomplished song writer whose passion for the song was self evident in the voice and poise of the singer who sang it. The lyrics were intelligent and delivered with a kind of subdued bravado that was only eclipsed by the molten undercurrent of angst. It was a powerful cocktail and took me completely off guard. The whole thing reminded me of early Bruce Springsteen, and Elvis Costello. Its always good to see someone after a time and witness the fullness of their talent after only a brief introduction long before. If these guys keep playing like this they will be riding from show to show on a big bus and staying in nice hotels like the band I shot before heading thirstily over to the Hole In The Wall.

Get out this holiday season. Go see a show and support the people who make this The Live Music Capital of the World!
- Your Texas Music Notes

"Flanfire Austinist Blog, 2007 Show Review"

The sophistication of the recordings is the product of dozens of experiments live on stage as Bryce seeks to provide fresh interpretations of his melodies and stories every time he performs. Every song eventually becomes an anthem for those who follow his music. Those who know can hear the loneliness of the Canadian countryside, the dark spaces in the lives of many who dwell in cities, and the hope for a better life in the spaces between the notes and the lyrics of each song. - Duggan Flanakin

"Woodstock Sentinel Review of 'Signal the Sun', 2006"

Friendly City Serves to Inspire
Clifford Song Titled "Woodstock Ont." About a Voyage

AUSTIN, TEX. - The song Woodstock, Ont. is more about a trip than a place, though the Friendly City serves as the destination.

Bryce Clifford had been inspired by a particular voyage, a need to get from Toronto to Woodstock that was complicated by empty pockets. Without a train ticket, Clifford had snuck past the conductor, trying vainly to conceal himself in the utilitarian gray of the encomy-class car.

“(The conductor) was going to kick me off,” Clifford said. “ I asked some people around me (to borrow money), and they gave me dirty looks.”

But the kindness of a stranger, and a $20 loan, allowed the Ingersoll native to continue his trip, and this bittersweet jumble of embarrassment and charity became a song.

With its expansive harmonica and weathered guitar, Woodstock, Ont is easily one of the highlights of "Signal the Sun", the debut album by Clifford, the eponymous band Bryce formed with his brother Bradford. The culmination of years of work, Signal the Sun can be described as a distillation, both of the duo’s disparate influences and their own experiences as musicians. “That was the goal,” Clifford said. “We wanted it to be like a classic Stones record where every second is great.”
The band’s grand ambition was served by its new setting of Austin, Tex., the self-proclaimed ‘Live Music Capital of the World.’

A LONG JOURNEY: The Clifford brothers, Bryce and Bradford, spent nine months recording their album, Signal the Sun. The band’s first release party for the album is later this week in Texas. The two brothers - both dual citizens thanks to their Mother’s Texas heritage - had wanted a fresh environment, and Austin’s liberal barbecue and brew atmosphere seemed a perfect fit. The other attraction, the sheer number of musicians within the city’s boundaries, eventually helped shape the sound of Signal the Sun. “Austin is a good training ground,” said Clifford, the band’s vocalist and guitarist. “It’s like going to school. Music is University to me, and Austin has raised the bar. I was pretty afraid to play shows down here at first because I didn’t think my guitar playing was up to snuff.”

The two brothers managed to attract a colourful mix of guest musicians for their album, recruiting talents like fellow Canadian Kim Deschamps, the former pedal steel player for Blue Rodeo and the Cowboy Junkies. A chance meeting in an Austin bar brought Jon Blondell into the studio to play trombone, giving the album even more cachet. “(Blondell) has a sick discography,” Clifford said. “He plays bass with Willie Nelson. He played horns on the Sublime records. He hangs out at my local bar. I just bought him a couple of drinks and asked him if he wanted to record.”

The band began the album last summer, taking a painstaking nine months to finish recording ten songs. Being in Austin, Clifford’s country influences became more prominent during the sessions, shading the “Westerbergian” punk of College Street and One More Shot with a dusty back-road patina. Just being down here, there’s a little bit of country in the album,” Clifford said. “We’ve been getting comments about sounding northeastern, that you can hear the cold weather in our music. We do sound different than the bands down here.”

With brothers providing the direction, engineer Thomas van der Brook did the bulk of the recording, helping capture the band’s live intensity on the reels of magnetic tape. While Bryce and Bradford had a few disagreements during the lengthy sessions, observing a tradition made famous by Ray and Dave Davies, they agreed on van der Brook’s contributions to Signal the Sun. “It was extremely comfortable just being in this guy’s home studio,” Clifford said. “He’s just starting out but he’s incredibly talented.”

Clifford is having his first release party later this week at Ego’s, one of the more notorious live venues in Austin. While Bradford, the band’s drummer, is currently in Toronto for the time being, his brother said the performance should be “Very cool." Ego’s is kind of a dive,” he said. “It’s in behind an underground parking garage, and you never know what type of music you’re going to get in there. I’m pretty much there every night.” But Bradford will be rejoining his brother during the band’s planned Canadian dates, which should bring them to Woodstock, London and Toronto in August. After years crisscrossing the province with Pedestrian Status, their former art-punk band, these upcoming Ontario shows should provide a sort of homecoming for the two brothers.

“We had a great time playing (in the area), the Clifford said. “I think we played every Woodstock high school back in the ‘90s.”

While not yet available in Woodstock, the band’s self-released album should be at the Record Works in the next week or two, giving Oxford music fans an opportunity to enjoy Signal the Sun’s 42 filler-free minutes. “The reaction so far has been pretty great,” Clifford said. “I’ve just played it for some friends and fellow musicians, but the response is solid.”

- Cover Story, Written by Bruce Urquhart, Staff Writer

"Austin Chronicle Review of 'Signal the Sun'"

Bryce and Bradford Clifford came from an art-punk band in Toronto, moved to Austin, and now have produced a country-tinged roots-rock album. the pedal steel of Cowboy Junkie Kim Deschamps, Signal the Sun is fitting in ...We love Canadian art punk! - By Darcie Stevens

"Netherlands Alt-Country Music ( Rated *3.5 of 5 stars"

"Here come the Canadians". A citation from the daily journal of a freed Dutch citizen around 1945. No, it's not the new American bands who are carefully but surely penetrating the Dutch market. Also, the Canadian bands are being heard such as top CD's by Matt Mays and El Torpedo and Blood Meridian.

Clifford is also a Canadian band from Toronto to be exact. Clifford is actually a duo of the brothers Bryce (vocals, piano, harmonica) and Bradford (drums,vocals).

Signal The Sun (Pedstat music) is the debut in this combination of the 2 and for the recording the brothers took off to Austin Texas with only a toothbrush, a guitar and a couple of cymbals.With the help of some session musicians the arsenal of instruments was expanded to include bass, pedal steel, trumpets and violins.

Signal The Sun is a presence because of the diversity in the music, it is a combination of country via pub-rock to guitar-pop. So The Band, Van Morrison, Brinsley Schwartz and Marah also came along with Bob Dylan in the form of a delicious uptempo cover of "Shelter from the Storm".

Bryce Clifford has a terrific voice that in the beautiful ballads such as "Last Call in The Northeast" and the epic "One More Shot" touches the heart and leaves a lot of fans with their mouths wide open.

The brothers also know how to write some good pop rock songs and they don't take a second seat to any artist with the Replacements-esque "Woodstock". The Sun is not a chart topper yet but it is definately a worthwhile investment. - Wiebren Rijkeboer

- Review by Wiebren Rijkeboer /

"ROOTSTIME - Belgium Review *4 of 5 stars"

When the American and the English music press together do not find anymore the appropriate words to value a CD, this one should really be exceptional.

We knew it already when Americana UK awarded a 9 out of 10 to this CD. We therefore tried our best to obtain a copy and discovered Clifford’s "Signal the Sun" (a band with origins in Toronto) is a very special CD.

A CD with a lot in common with The Band and Van Morrison but also with a touch of the work of a young Bob Dylan or the 80's post-punk music of The Replacements or Elvis Costello.

Clifford is a duo comprised of the the brothers Bryce (vocals, guitars, piano, harmonica) and Bradford (drums, percussion and vocals). On their debut album they are accompanied by such musicians as Canadian Kim Deschamps (Kim is the pedal steel player and multi-instrumentalist for Canadian bands: Cowboy Junkies and Blue Rodeo). Also Jon Blondell (Willie Nelson band), plays trombone on a few tracks and Tony Scalzo ( of Fastball) can be heard on "All the Girls" with a fantastic bluesy guitar solo. Thomas Van der Brook also gives the songs a very soulful feeling thanks to his tenor saxophone and violin.

"Signal The Sun" is full of real individualistic music. Songs full of humor and surprise in a blend of Americana rock with a pinch of country and the blues. Songs that are at the same time raw and delicate. There is a fast learning curve here, because after listening to the CD three times, we could not do without it.

There is no easy way to describe this CD. Each attempt to really describe "Signal The Sun" comes down to cliché. You need hear Clifford's music!! You’ll be surprised by the unexpected directions it will take you and the musical pictures it paints, often filled with dark texts.

From the lead off track Clifford’s music evolves somewhere between the guitar rock of the Replacements to the restrained Americana à la Marah.

With jewels like "Last Call in the Northeast" and “Woodstock, Ont." they demonstrate many talents. These brothers certainly do show great potential in "Signal The Sun". So watch out.- Freddy Celis (
- Review by Freddy Celis

"Toronto Star, Top Ten pick of week for 'Signal the Sun'"

"Beautiful is never alone/ It stands on corners with telephones/ Never waits for a drink or goes far to find a friend...."
Along with those sublimely rueful lyrics, this exquisite ballad by Toronto brothers Bryce and Brad Clifford is graced with scarred barroom vocals from the Steve Forbert/Marah school of croak-singing and an aching sax solo that seems well-acquainted enough with the Stones' "Waiting on a Friend" to qualify as something of a homage. - by John Sakamoto / Toronto Star

"KUTX Austin Music Minute"

Songwriter Bryce Clifford is damn proud of his roots. That pretty much spans everything from rock to post-punk. So when he and his band Brother Superior recorded their EP 'Whatever Coach', it naturally reflects that omni-directional style, which makes it simultaneously melodic and driven with post-punk elation. Not to mention every single layer of inspiration and experience his band mates bring to the table, like bluegrass, classical, honky-tonk and old-school. It’s all working together like an inextinguishable blaze.

You need to check ’em out live, and you’ve got the opportunity tonight at Brother Superior’s Monday night residency at The Blackheart, 86 Rainey St. The night starts out with a solo set by Jonathan Terrell (also the front man of Not In the Face) at 9 p.m. Very lovely double bill, indeed. Recommended to get rid of the Monday blahs.

-Laurie Gallardo - KUTX, May 9 2016

"Superior Sounds"

Authored by Nick J Scott
I’ve known Bryce Clifford since high school when we jammed together in his parents’ basement, thrashing away on our instruments, covering punk songs by The Pixies and The Ramones and even writing some tunes of our own. Bryce shaped my musical taste by introducing me to bands I’d never heard on the radio, and by ensuring I didn’t listen to just one genre of music.

Over the years his sound has blossomed from indie punk to working class rock – think early Paul Westerberg or Bruce Springsteen mixed with the lyrical prowess of Nick Cave and the energy of Elvis Costello. This maturation was honed by his relocation to the musical hotbed of Austin, Texas just over 10 years ago where Bryce has played bars, clubs, restaurants, and even Austin–Bergstrom International Airport.

Now with his latest collaboration, Brother Superior, Bryce sounds more confident than ever. Still one of my favourite musicians, you can see Bryce Clifford & Brother Superior this Saturday, September 5th as they rock Call the Office with London band Limiter. I spoke with Bryce as he made the long drive from Austin to his hometown of Ingersoll, ON to find out more about this recent tour and his latest EP. - London Fuse, Canada

"Music Video: Brother Superior "Lovin' You (Is Killin' Me)""

Brother Superior's new video "Lovin' You (Is Killin' Me)" is a story of love and loss shot around many locations (including Call The Office and Brown & Dickson Booksellers) in London Ontario.

Brother Superior will be touring this summer with a stop in London in September!

-Pat Tiffin - London Fuse, Canada

"Music Video: Brother Superior "Lovin' You (Is Killin' Me)""

Brother Superior's new video "Lovin' You (Is Killin' Me)" is a story of love and loss shot around many locations (including Call The Office and Brown & Dickson Booksellers) in London Ontario.

Brother Superior will be touring this summer with a stop in London in September!

-Pat Tiffin - London Fuse, Canada


Still working on that hot first release.



"Heavy hitting band with rueful and acerbic lyrics and bar room scarred vocals.” NOW Magazine, Toronto

Brother Superior put the song back at the center of rock and roll.  If they were hair-rock assholes, they would be cranking out passionate Americana anthems that blare from the car windows of teenagers across the states.  But Clifford's indie-rock influence and post-punk attitude bring us a much more interesting and nuanced approach to songwriting.  In his now-home of Austin TX, Bryce Clifford has brought together a tight band that perform with a "wheels-might-come-off intensity".  These 4 full-time musicians are immersed nightly in Austin's vast music scene.  Their Texan-everyman accessibility belies their world-class talent and experience.  These musicians bring with them influences of blue-grass, classical, honky-tonk, old school soul… name it - you might hear it. 

That said, a Brother Superior set is dominated with driving melodic post-punk rock songs that get stuck in your head, are played with joy, and have a touch of nostalgia that feels right and hits home. 

Television credits include spots on MTV, CBS, the CW, BRAVO-TV, and Scyfy Channel.  

Band Members