Brother 2 Brother
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Brother 2 Brother

Band Blues Rock


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Butt-kickin' blues-rock is alive and well in Texas. Lookin' for Texas, Brother 2 Brother's stew of blues, rock and soul goes down warm and sweet. It's a studio recording with a live feel: this Houston outfit is not slick - in fact, they're not always even very tight - but they're good musicians who sound like they love playing together, which is more important. Clever, well-crafted songs complete the picture. "I Don't Care" recalls Georgia Satellites via Jerry Lee Lewis, while "Fool Boy's Road" suggests Jim Morrison and the Doors. You'll hear some Fabulous Thunderbirds, a little Lynyrd Skynyrd, more than a pinch of soul from the excellent horn section, and plenty of Chicago blues in these eight songs; there's even a shiver of the bayou in the accordian-led "Toobin'." Altogether a wide variety of styles, served up with heart and a generous helping of fun. Brother 2 Brother is not literally a band of brothers, but their camaraderie shows in the music. - Jon Sobel

"The Scene"

LOOKIN' FOR TEXAS: This independent, self-produced blues/blues rock album contains eight original tracks. Time is 28 minutes, 43 seconds. Production and sound quality are very good. The opening cut, "Don't Be Shy," is a forceful, medium-tempo blues tune. Lead singer Mike Vohsen presents the mood of the lyrics well. Guitarist Robert Baker's strong solo is an excellent match for the mood. The title cut is a neat novelty tune that bemoans the fact that Houston is just another big city and has lost its Texas identity. Bassist Mike Leubner does lead vocals. Margo Lively guests on fiddle. "Toobin'" is a lighthearted ditty sure to get a broad grin from anyone that's enjoyed tubing the Guadalupe River, a favorite Texas pastime. "The Power To Drive The Blues Away" is a traditional, get-down blues tune that features Norm Uhl's first-rate vocals and keyboards. Bob Martin guests on trumpet and trombone, Patrick Brennan on saxophone. The whole band rocks hard on the driving, high-energy tune, "Fool Boy's Road," the best up-tempo song on the CD. Best slow-tempo tune is the Tin Pan Alley styled gut-ripper, "Sometimes Gone Is Gone." Vohsen's vocals are intense and passionate. Joe Miller guests on trombone. Best song on the CD is "It Wasn't Me," an R&B belt buckle polisher soaked in Swamp Pop Syrup. Vohsen's vocals capture the song's bayou feel perfectly. Highly recommended. - Jim Shortt

"Blues Wax"

A BluesWax Reprint
This review originally ran in
BluesWax on March 25, 2006
BluesWax Rating: 8 out of 10

Taking Off
Lookin' for Texas is a self-released debut CD by Brother2Brother (B2B), a Houston-based roadhouse band that is definitely hard-driving Blues Rock with Cajun, Country, South of the Border, and Swing blended in. They follow in the footsteps, they say on their website, of such great Texas Blues institutions as T-Bone Walker and Stevie Ray Vaughan. They are currently ranked as the #3 three independent band in the world by the Ultimate Band List; hitting number one last week. Do they live up to their billing? Pretty much, yes.

What is impressive about B2B is their range from down-home Texas Blues to upbeat Blues Rock with unexpected, foot-stomping variations, including guest horns, trumpet, sax, and trombone, and, in one case, guest fiddle. The band has paid its dues as is obvious by how seamlessly they work together to create some truly heart-throbbing, stomach-churning Blues. What is equally impressive is what they have to work with: eight great, original songs that pay attention to the tradition as well as going off on their own.

The first and fifth tracks seem to work together. The first, "Don't Be Shy," starts off with a wailing guitar that bleeds into lead vocalist Mike Vohsen asking the ladies not to be shy, come on in, "I'm a working man in a working band." On the fifth track, "The Power to Drive the Blues Away," the blare of the horns is reminiscent of the horn section of a hopped-up Jimmy Dorsey band. Both songs are hard driving with interludes of guitar picking by Robert Baker and ivory tickling by Norm Uhl.

Tracks two through four also seem to fit into a similar pattern: men with women trouble. On the second track, Mike Vohsen whines about when you lose a lady there may be "No more coming back/Sometimes gone is gone," while the horns whine forlornly in and out in the background followed by a final hopeless blast at the end of the song.

"It Wasn't Me" and "I Don't Care" are a bit more tongue-in-cheek. "I Don't Care" has a honky-tonk feel to it with lots of piano banging and guitar whacking and Mike "Lowboy" Leubner in an appropriately wasted voice complaining that "I don't particularly know and I don't particularly care," a male mantra if there ever was one. This mantra, though, is turned on its head when his wife runs out on him and he asks her where's she going. She says, "I don't particularly know and I don't particularly care." In "It Wasn't Me," the music is more laid back, a ballad about a woman who sees her man with another woman. "It wasn't me pretty baby," the man sings, pausing expectantly. "It must've been another man."

This is followed by a Stevie Ray Vaughan-like, guitar-thumping original about moonshining in the Carolinas, "Fool Boy's Road," and the "Margaritaville"-sounding "Toobin'" replete with Cajun accordion instead of steel drum describing one of the favorite recreations of good old boys and girls in the Southwest. Floating down the river, in this case the Guadeloupe, "Too-bin down the Gua-de-loup-e Riv-er." You can almost feel the cool water against your butt, the beads of sweat popping up off your forehead, the warm desert wind soothing your skin, and the ice-cold beer pouring down your throat like a waterfall. It's in the music, very relaxing and playful.

The title track, a Country Texas Blues, Marty Robbins-type ballad that features Bluegrass fiddle and tells of a dude who's "seen all the westerns on cable TV," and flies down to Houston to see the real thing only to discover "a whole lot of traffic and store after store." Houston is just "another city for the whole human race." He consults a bartender..."Well, the bartender worked for minimum wage, but he spoke with the wisdom that comes with age." Dumb meets dumber.

After listening to this CD, you got to think that B2B, like saltwater taffy, is pulled in many different directions, but their heart and soul is in the Blues. They're a rocket ship on the launch pad about to take off.

Jeff Richards is a contributing writer at BluesWax

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Jeff Richards - Blues Wax (Mar 25, 2006)
- Jeff Richards

"Blues Revue-The World's Blues Magazine"

Houston's Brother 2 Brother is unmistakably a rock band, but their tasteful and accomplished playing, blues-based songwriting, and Mike Vohsen's tough vocals lend the self-released "Lookin' for Texas" a distinct appeal. The CD features Norm Uhl's piano chords behind Robert Baker's soaring guitar on "It Wasn't Me", and the churning roots-rocker "I Don't Care", features a wobbly guitar break and a humorous lyric. "The Power to Drive the Blues Away" is a strong, bluesy ballad with an effective horn chart, while the lilting "Toobin'," courtesy of an accordian, has a Tex-Mex feel. The title track, a fiddle-powered country shuffle, is another good one.
April/May 2006 Issue No. 99
Blues Revue-The World's Blues Magazine
Tom Hyslop - Blues Revue (Mar 5, 2006)
- Tom Hyslop

"Brother 2 Brother Placed on Grammy Ballot!!!"

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Committee has placed Brother 2 Brother on the
Official Ballot for the 2007 Grammy Awards in the following categories:

Category 16 - Best Rock Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocal
Brother 2 Brother - The Power to Drive the Blues Away
Award goes to Artist: Brother 2 Brother
Ballot Entry # 027

Category 66 - Best Contemporary Blues Album
Brother 2 Brother - Lookin' For Texas
Award goes to Artist: Brother 2 Brother
Ballot Entry # 003

Voting on the first ballot ended on November 4. Now we have to wait until mid-December to find out if we got enough votes to be finalists.
We've made it this far on the strength of our music and the support of our fans, family and friends.
- National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

"Brother 2 Brother rated #1 Indie Blues/Rock Band in the World"

Brother 2 Brother made it into the semi-finals of the Ultimate Band Contest. You can vote for us once a day by going to: We are listed in the Blues Category. Vote for B2B and then scroll to the bottom and click on "Submit." This week on the UBL charts B2B is #1 on the Top 100 We also are #1 on UBL's Rock Chart! and #1 on the UBL Blues Chart! We have been on the UBL charts for 40 weeks, much of that at the top of the list. We've been voted #1 on the Blues Chart for 20 of those weeks. VOTE ONCE EVERY DAY, LIKE TAKING YOUR VITAMINS.
- The Ultimate Band List -

"The Scene"

When I caught this fast rising, five-piece group at Fenders, they did a good mix of blues & blues/rock originals and covers. Well done cover tunes included Buddy Guy's arrangement of "Mary Had A Little Lamb," and two Freddie King classics, "Goin' Down" and "Tore Down." But the real strength of the set was their original songs from their CD, "Lookin for Texas," released in late August (review next month.) Songs included the hard rockin' "Fool Boy's Road," and the back-alley gut ripper, "Sometimes Gone is Gone." Song of the set was "It Wasn't Me," a Swamp Pop flavored R&B number. That song has been receiving airplay on KPFT 90.1 Houston and 89.5 Galveston's Blues On The Move show, hosted by Mr. & Ms. V. Bravo! Bravo! - Jim Shortt

"North of the Border"

Brother 2 Brother turns out a consistently solid effort here. Robert Baker's “Don’t be Shy” relates to his playing in bands and looking out at all the cool chicks in the audience, while “Sometimes Gone Is Gone” with the driving horns of Patrick Brennan and written by Norm Uhl, Kevin Reed and Mike Vohsen advises that you should know when it’s time to quit a relationship, and the soulful “It Wasn’t Me” (my personal favorite) is a dreamy ballad that should stand out. Everyone should recognize the sentiment in the novelty tune “I Don’t Care” by Mike Lowboy Leubner. The big band sound of “The Power To Drive The Blues Away” with Robert’s stinging guitar and more horns is the answer to a relationship breakup cured by the power of music. Mike Vohsen’s powerful “Fools’s Boy Road” is an ode to moonshiners prompted by a documentary seen on TV. The two songs with much potential to become regional Texas hits are “Toobin” with keyboard induced accordion inspired by Guadalupe river rats on a weekend on the river and the title cut making fun of the way people think about Texans with some mean fiddle by Margo Lively and references to the real places you’ll find true Texas folks like New Braunfels and even Magnolia. The eclectic mix of blues, soul, country, rock and humor make this a treat from the first beat to the last. - Dave Miller

" Music Magazine"

BROTHER 2 BROTHER – LOOKIN' FOR TEXAS: Brother 2 Brother (B2B) consists of five core members and guest horn and fiddle players. Four of the five sing with Mike Vohsen handling lead. Mike can sing graceful ballads to gravelly blues. B2B's music is a blend of Texas blues and hard driving rock with subtle country and jazz undercurrents. B2B's influences include Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Lookin' For Texas is their eight track, self-produced debut. Although the album is a studio recording it has a live feel with experienced musicians bring passion to their craft. The CD has few overdubs allowing the emotions of the songs to take center stage. 'Don't Be Shy' features smoking guitar leads with up-tempo rhythms and hard rocking vocals. Mid way through the song, B2B slows the pace down for a blues guitar solo before returning to the original driving beat. 'Toobin' is a whimsical, Cajun flavored composition with the keys creating an accordian effect, along with flowing guitars and rhythms. Brother 2 Brother is musical camaraderie at its best and Lookin' For Texas is diverse and divine!
• Recommended Tracks: (1,7) [USA/TX 2005 - web] (2006 Review by Laura Turner Lynch for
Laura Turner Lynch - Music Magazine (Jan 27, 2006) - Laura Turner Lynch

"Jamestown Music"

These guys will have you foot tappin', shakin' your head, and sayin' "oh, ya" to a steady beat of blues rock. Fusing instruments like trombones, fiddles, and saxophones; this blues-rock album "Lookin' for Texas" will fill your stereo and echo in your mind for hours after listening.
Brian Shipley - Jamestown Music
- Brian Shipley


Brother 2 Brother "Lookin' for Texas"
Released October 2005
All songs written, recorded, and produced by B2B
Currently receiving radio air play on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston,TX and on KEOS 89.1 FM College Station, TX. B2B is also getting airplay on Blues Programs in Canada, Argentina, Belgium, France and on the internet radio programs "Midnight Special Blues", "", "Midnight Blues-Online Blues Radio", and many others.



Brother 2 Brother follows in the footsteps of great Texas Bluesmen such as T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In addition to their faithful Rock, Blues, and R&B covers, their new original CD entitled "Lookin' for Texas" is a part of the evolution of Texas Blues, incorporating a wide variety of influences from the world of Rock, Country, Jazz, and Blues. Their new CD is getting quite a bit of airplay in their home base of Houston, Texas on KPFT 90.1 FM and on KEOS 89.1 FM College Station, TX. Also, they were the cover story of the Sept issue of "North of the Border Entertainment Guide" with CD review. They're often pictured in "Music News" and reviewed in "The Scene", all being Houston area mags. On Oct. 9, 2005, they were interviewed on KPFT 90.1 FM, Houston, by Mr. V on his program "Blues on the Move". Then on Saturday, December 17, on "Joe's Roadhouse" KPFT 90.1 FM, the band was featured playing live from Fitzgerald's. Since then the band has returned for more interviews and live performances.

In late 2006, their CD "Lookin' for Texas" was placed on the official ballot for the 2007 Grammy Awards. The categories it was included in are:
Field 4 - Rock
Category 16 - Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (For duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)
for the song "Power to Drive the Blues Away"

Field 13 - Blues
Category 66 - Best Contemporary Blues Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.) for the CD "Lookin' for Texas".

Two of the founding members of the band, bass player Mike “Lowboy” Leubner and keyboard player Norm Uhl, formed Brother 2 Brother in January 2003 after honing their chops backing up Texas recording artist Gene Kelton (Mean Gene Kelton and the Diehards). Vocalist Sandy Hickey, guitarist extraordinaire John Cometta, and rock steady drummer Dan Jones make up the rest of the musical team.

Sandy Hickey - Lead Vocals

Meet the sister of Brother 2 Brother. Sister Sandy Hickey. Sandy has been rocking the Houston music scene since 1985 and has earned her reputation as one of Houston's most respected blues divas. Bluesy, gutsy and sultry, her vocals are the epitome of a Texas Blues singer. She can turn her voice on a dime from growling blues to sweet nuanced tones and can wrap an audience around her little finger.

In the early 90’s, Sandy was co-owner of Mickey’s Mardi Gras on Washington Avenue in Houston. Later, in 1997, Sandy opened Silky’s Blues Bar in that same location and featured some of the most prominent blues people in the area.
Then, in 2000, Sandy released her own CD with the Soul Providers called "Ice Cream, Cigarettes, and a Good Glass of Wine." She received great reviews and in that same year she was nominated "Best Female Vocalist" in the Houston Press Music Awards!

Not to mention she has also worked very hard to improve Houston's Live Music Scene in various ways including serving four terms as President of the Houston Blues Society!

John Cometta - Lead Guitar

John, or "JC" as he's better known, hails from Tucson, Arizona. He played locally with one of the hottest blues bands in the city when he caught the eye of Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers. Brian liked his playing so much that he offered "JC" a touring gig that lasted for 6 years. JC liked Houston so much, he decided to stay after he left the band in 2004. He played with Sandy Hickey and the Soul Providers when he wasn't touring and stayed on fulltime when he left Lil Brian to start his own company. He has also played with other great Houston artists such as Tommy Dardar, Jabo, Kid Reese and RaRa Carter. JC possesses a skill beyond his years and is a natural for the blues!

Norm Uhl - Keys, Harmonica, & Vocals

He used to do the News. Now he does the Blues. Norm Uhl was a fixture in local television news serving as an on-air reporter for nearly 15 years on Houston's CBS affiliate. He reported live on such major stories as the Waco Siege and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Over his career, he has filed stories for NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN.
The award winning journalist is perhaps better known for his humorous features, especially "Norm at Work", where he featured the working men and women of Texas, often giving their jobs a try.
While in the hectic news business, Norm had to put his music on the back burner. But once he left the news business, blues was one of his first endeavors. Norm played keyboards and harmonica with "Mean Gene Kelton and the Die Hards" for two years, which is where he met Bass Player Mike "Lowboy" Leubner.

Mike "Lowboy" Leubner - Bass & Vocals

Also born and raised in Houston, in the Spring Branch area, Mike has loved and studied music since early childhood. After having played and sharing the bill with such notables as Foghat, Sherman Robertson, Roy Head, Mark May, Joe "King" Carasco, Mean Gene Kelton, Diunna Greenleaf, and many others, "Lowboy" has devoted his time and talent to