Brother C & Sister J
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Brother C & Sister J


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"OC Music Awards 2013: Brother C & Sister J Follow Their Bliss Cycle With Eclectic Blues"

Celebrating its 12th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicked off on January 8th with eight weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band and a performance slot at the 2013 OC Music Awards, March 9th at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Never was there a duo so perfectly complimentary in energy as Chris Lynch and Jacqueline Pablo a/k/a funky, gritty blues-rock group Brother C & Sister J.

Lynch is full of boundless energy, at once comparing his life to Lord of The Rings, quoting Mark Wahlberg, infusing eloquent statements on his favorite authors like Hemingway, Shakespeare, and Joseph Campbell with hip-hop slang while Pablo, who is an accountant as her day job, is delightfully frank and forward.

Both of them warn me Lynch can go off on tangents, but we’re at a hipster bar, freezing on the back patio, and Lynch’s warmth and energy keeps me warm, so it’s welcome in the sea of overly-cool, contrived patrons.

“You’ve got to stop me before I stomp the yard sometimes,” says Lynch, before he does just that, talking about how before a show in Long Beach him and Pablo “had Subway and beer and watched Stomp The Yard to ‘pregame.’”

“If I didn’t play with Jacqueline, I wouldn’t be playing music,” said Lynch. “This is the chemistry that I’ve always wanted.”

It’s hard to imagine Lynch without the calming force of Pablo, but before there was Brother C and Sister J, there was just Brother C, Lynch’s ‘30s-era Southern old blues musician alter-ego.

After jamming with Pablo, whom he deems his “favorite drummer,” the two decided to join forces; they “practiced a few times and shit got real.”

Brother C went from old roots music based on a caricature to something completely different that wasn’t about “having a moniker or a schtick or anything” to “brothers and sisters” with diverse tastes doing what they want.

“I want to just not have to tell people what we sound like,” said Lynch. “I want people to hear us and say we sound like Brother C and Sister J.” Since he works at a record store, Lynch concedes to a description of “blues fused with some funk and just heavy straight-rock …funky ass shit.”

An example of that “funky ass shit” is the band’s groovy-blues tune “Bad Woman Blues” that sounds so good (and so authentic) that sometimes people ask the pair if the song is a cover.

But out of all their songs, it’s their favorite, both of them feeling that it’s a song that the audience can relate to even if it’s not a love relationship but friends, family, or your “bank clerk.” It’s also pretty compatible with how the cinematically-oriented twosome view their music, something that would go well with a Quentin Taratino film or something by Jim Jarmusch.

Right now the band is working on getting enough time to film videos, but since they’ve only been together about a year, they consider themselves a baby band that is just getting into the groove of things.

When outside people try to tell the tightly-knit pair how what to do, Lynch says “how about we just do what we want to do for our band that makes sense to us?…We just want to make music; we just want to have fun.”

“I am a big believer in the following your bliss cycle, Joseph Campbell,” concludes Lynch. “He was saying that things happen for reasons—take it in stride. Doors will open for you when you’re on your path, not anyone else’s path. When you’re doing something that you believe in, not what other people tell you to believe in because that’s not right for you.” - Nadia Noir - KROQ Los Angeles

"Brother C and Sister J Bring Unbridled Joy to the Blues"

It’s not hard to get a little gloomy at the Shanghai’d Room. The Huntington Beach bar could easily be the poster child for holes in the wall were it not for a lack of wall on either side of the bar. Still, the dim red lighting and silent showing of Sin City did nothing to damper Chris Lynch’s mood; his whole face lit up upon our introduction, and as I sat down with band mate Jacqueline Pablo for our interview, Chris launched into a full-scale jig to Bell Biv Devoe.

Small wonder that Brother C and Sister J’s origin story began with Chris saying, “See, I’ve got so much energy, I can’t contain it.” The blues duo started playing together in December of 2011, but their musical experience stems from early adolescence: guitarist and singer Chris from jr. high, drummer Jacqueline from the early high school days. They came together due to a mutual love of jazz (and the fact that Chris had developed a “blues character” he was dying to try out). Thus, Brother C and Sister J was born – but don’t expect pure heartbreak and Memphis mud from these two.

“We can’t simply…fit into any genre,” Chris explained. “The roots of blues are there, but there are different branches. We love all kinds of music, and you can find blues in rock, in hip hop – if we can combine them, then why not?”

He isn’t lying; at a BCSJ show (an acronym I give you all permission to use freely), you’ll find distorted guitar chords akin to some of Hendrix’s work, intricate percussion rhythms that call to mind a heavy metal show, riffs that make you smile, nostalgia for old favorite bands (in my case, it was Cheap Trick’s “Southern Girls”), and of course those bitter yet brilliant lyrics that are red-blooded American blues. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see Chris let loose with some rap. Or maybe you won’t – after all, Brother C and Sister J hardly ever play the same show twice.

“We just love music,” Jacqueline says, “especially when there’s a lot of freedom in the song. We’ll signal each other – it becomes like a game.” A game the whole room gets involved in, as I recall from my first encounter with the band last summer. The duo has enough energy to fill a stage on their own, which might explain why as Jackie put it, “we feel like there’s a full band.” Their performance comes at you in layers – you enjoy the energetic performance before your eyes, then notice the music hitting that sweet spot in your ears, and by the time their set is over, the band’s endearing, easygoing presence will have totally won you over. Guaranteed.

One and a half performances was all it took for Brother C and Sister J to crack the top ten of my favorite local bands – and that’s a list I take very seriously. Tomorrow night at the OCMAs, they will have a chance to rise up in the ranks, and get you on board the blues train, too. Bring it, babies; I am anxious to see you rock this town.

OCMAs Night Seven will feature Brother C and Sister J, along with Electro City, The Kettle Drivers, Time and Energy, and Decode Radio. This showcase, the last one for this OCMA season, will begin at 8pm at the Yost Theater. - Chantel Donnan - Music in Press


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Formed in December 2011, it started off as jamming on old Brother C songs, but the chemistry was instananeous, and the band realized that there was a long, fulfilling road ahead. So, now they are trying to record, tour, and reach as many people as they can. Every show is a learning experience, and inspiring.