Brothers O'Hair
Gig Seeker Pro

Brothers O'Hair

Denver, Colorado, United States

Denver, Colorado, United States
Band Rock Folk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Brothers O'Hair were clearly the least seasoned and the least purely talented of the three band bill. They were also by far the best live act, engaging the crowd of friends and admirers (we were all admirers by the end of the set) with a combination of Canadian caterwaul and Irish Catholic whiskey music. Their songs fell forward with a hard-work momentum. They were built in obvious, but effective, soft to loud builds. They employ a stand-alone bass drum, played with hard felt mallets, in a march-like intensity, and that is one incredibly foolproof way to make your rock roll. Of the four members, three wore suspenders, and the last one a vest. They wore them like they'd been through three days of sleepless drinking and laboring -- initially respectable, currently functional. Brothers O'Hair moved to Denver from Austin, and we're fucking glad to have them. - Westword Denver


Brothers O'Hair, Brothers O'Hair (Self-released). A story about the perils of pursuing/attaining your creative goals, the band's first release since moving to Denver is a better ode to the struggling artist than he probably deserves. The journey is hard work, and on this EP, the acrobat is not the only one whose dignity is revealed. — Maletsky - Denver Westword


I felt like I was joining Guns N' Roses and Axl kept trying to teach me 'Sweet Child of Mine,'" says Brothers O' Hair bassist Joe Mills, recalling the early days of his band. "I was like, 'Come on, man, it's Chinese Democracy time!'"

Although the group, fleshed out by drummer Jon Aisner, guitarist Andy Burrow and singer/guitarist/founding member Adam Anglin, share very little else in common with the jungle-welcoming Angelenos, Anglin, like Mr. Rose, found himself trying to re-form a project and a concept that he had started years before in another state.

The process of recruiting new members for his vision and then re-teaching old songs proved arduous for Anglin and the rest of his band, but the effort finally come to fruition with the completion of the outfit's first EP — and the continuation of a family tradition started long before Anglin was even born.

After wrapping his studies at Northwest Arkansas Community College, Anglin moved to Austin to play music. The frontman, who had been writing music for years, had never really been in a band before, but knew, stylistically, the type of music he was capable of creating. Conceptually, Anglin borrowed a tradition that had been in his family for years.

O'Hair is my mother's maiden name," he explains. "My grandpa's family clan was the Brothers O'Hair; it started with my great grandfather, Mickey. I wanted to present a revival of a certain time and pay tribute to my family."

Because of his family's pedigree, Anglin knew he wanted to start a group whose sound and image paid homage to his cherished ancestors, and he figured Austin was would be a good place for the band to flourish. Thanks to programs like the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians and an overwhelming sense of support from fellow musicians, Anglin found it an ideal place to start his concept, and he quickly recruited musicians to play and record some of the songs he had written. In the process, he became infatuated with all that the city had to offer.

"I think Austin has created a community for musicians," he points out. "They have health care, and they're valued as a part of the community and economy. You had the mayor telling people to go to one show a month to help boost the economy."

Despite his love for the city and the acceptance he felt, Anglin only spent about four months playing music there before he made the decision to relocate to Denver in the summer of 2008, largely because his now-wife decided to attend grad school in Colorado. So in spite of the fact that he was finally putting together the project he'd been striving for, Anglin found himself picking up stakes and setting up shop in a new city, where he initially placed Brothers O' Hair on the back burner.

He wasn't as taken with Denver as he had been with Austin. "I think the biggest difference I found between the two is the community element in Austin," he notes. "In Austin, it didn't matter how tight we were or how good we were: We were just fish in the sea. Here, I think people look after their own band a lot more, which is sad, because no one is really going anywhere. I wish people would enjoy it more."

Eventually, as he became more comfortable with the city and decided Denver was as good a place as any to start the band again, he placed ads on Craigslist, offering up the demos he had recorded in Austin as incentive for people to get ahold of him. Burrow, Mills and Aisner, who had each moved to Denver from different cities with hopes of playing music, all responded to the ad because of a love for Brothers O' Hair's music. Each member has his own idea as to why Anglin chose them.

"Adam called me back out of desperation," Borrow jokes.

"It wasn't out of desperation at all," Anglin interjects. "Most people I tried out sucked, and I don't think we thought each other sucked."

The new-look Brothers O' Hair was ready and willing to learn the songs that Anglin had written, but finding a place to learn them wasn't always easy. Taking advantage of Aisner's being a student in the music program at the University of Denver, the group used to sneak into the music building late at night so they could practice, hauling all of their amps, drums and even a PA into the building after hours and then unloading after they were done so no one would know they had been there.

It was during these late-night sessions that the group woodshedded the old Brothers O'Hair songs. Slowly but surely, the members started writing new songs of their own, taking Anglin's original concept of the band and adding their own unique flavor of musicianship.

"It was huge for us to get away from those old tunes and start writing new music that we all helped bring to the table," Aisner recalls. "There was a feeling that the Austin songs we were playing really weren't our own. Everybody felt like they were playing in a cover band. There was something stale about the practices. It wasn't until we started playing new stuff that everything came together."

Aisner, armed with a jazz-drumming background, brought intuitiveness and timing, while Burrow's time playing math metal brought a darker and edgier tone to the music that wasn't there before. For his part, Mills, a guitarist-turned-bass player, claims to bring "height and sex appeal."

All of these new attributes — perhaps with the exception of Mills's contributions — can be heard on the Brothers' latest self-titled EP. Staying true to the group's thematic appeal, the five songs, steeped with a foreboding undertone and historical familiarity, tell the story of an unnamed protagonist leaving his former life, friends and family behind to start a new life.

"He leaves to shovel poop at a circus and work his way up to the point of walking on a high wire," Aisner explains.

The opening track, "Tonight," sets the tone for the adventure, as a driving beat and Anglin's wiry and desperate tone pushes the protagonist all the way to the closing track. "All Eyes" concludes with our unnamed hero finally setting foot on the elusive tightrope.

For four guys hailing from different parts of the country, the concept could serve as a microcosm; the completion of the group could be their metaphorical tightrope. Although the band agrees with this notion on some level, Burrow, who moved to Denver from Kansas, sees it as something more universal.

"I would hope," he declares, "that everyone has something that drives them to question everything else."

With an EP and a band that no longer just belongs to one man, the other three members of the Brothers O'Hair still attempt to pay homage to Anglin's ancestors every night on stage. They do this by adhering to a style of dress that the clan would have been proud to wear. "However accurate or inaccurate it is," says Anglin of his decision to dress the band in slacks, white T-shirts and suspenders when they play live — peasant chic, he calls it — "there is definitely a historic throwback that I'm trying to keep intact. For me, it's a revival of a certain time and a tribute to my family."

"I was viciously opposed to it at first," remembers Burrow. "In the past, the only question I had was, 'Which black T-shirt am I going to wear tonight?'" He eventually came around: "I justified it as we're putting on a show to support what we're creating; we're not creating something to support our show."

For Anglin, the concept of Brothers O' Hair is just as important as the music he creates. And he hopes to continue, no matter how many times it's re-created. - Denver Westword


Folk rockers Brothers O’Hair, who go by their mother’s maiden name, are a four-piece local group with a definite depression-era aesthetic. After nearly a year on the scene, the band is preparing to finally release its first five-song album in early November.
The band clearly draws from the folk music of old, while also bringing something new and unique to the table. The brothers talked about influences and songwriting.
Matt: How would you describe your sound?
Adam: I don’t know. I feel like that’s kind of a weird question.
Jon: Well, it’s a pretty standard question.
Adam: I mean, it’s a four-piece. It’s guitar, lead guitar, bass and drums. Everything we do is pretty organic. There’s nothing electronic going on.
Jon: It’s got some folk elements.
Andy: Maybe “The working man’s folk-indie goodness” if I had to pick a five-word description.
Adam: Without being cheesy, I feel like we wrestle [with] everything we do as far as keeping everything together and in time.
MP: How long have you guys been a band?
Adam: We started playing last fall around Denver. So really, we’re coming up on a year right now.
MP: What’s been the highlight so far?
Andy: We headlined the Bluebird.
Adam: I thought New Year’s Eve was awesome. That show was sold out, and we got to play with two other local bands. We played with The Knew and Faceman. That show was just a ton of fun. Especially the Larimer Lounge, because it’s just a really fun spot to play. For me, any time we play a room that’s packed out, that’s the best.
Jon: I liked opening for some of the national acts. We opened for The Builders and The Butchers. I was into that.
Joe: I would say the highlight for me was our first show, because I’ve played in so many bands around town, and played the Larimer Lounge to zero people. Like none of my friends showed up. I knew [maybe] three people there, but the place was packed. It was just a nice surprise for me. It was pretty bitchin’.
MP: What’s your songwriting process like?
Joe: I start out with the basslines, and then Adam’s like, “I feel that song is really about a guy frustrated with his place in life, and he really wants to leave.” Then he writes a song about it essentially. I came up with this one, and he was like “Oh my God, I’m thinking of this Psalm. There’s this great Psalm that goes with it. What Psalm is it?”
Andy: Oh, it was that Styx song, right?
Jon: Not “song,” Andy, “Psalm.”
Andy: Oh. I apologize.
Jon: I usually come in with the drums last. So it’s like one (points to Joe), two (points to Adam), three (points to Andy) four (points to himself).
Andy: Typically, I come in with some really awesome idea that gets shot down.
Joe: I feel like that helps us grow, shooting down Andy’s suggestions.
Adam: It helps us know where we don’t want to go.
Jon: We get to hear what Andy thinks, and then go in the complete opposite direction, and it usually brings us to a better place.
Adam: A lot of the stuff we do is pretty thrown together honestly. When we get together everyone’s bringing something. It’s a collection of our different efforts when we put a song together.
MP: What are some of your influences?
Jon: I’ve been listening to a lot of old British folk revival, like Pentangle and Fairport Convention.
Joe: I play bass, so my influences are Donald “Duck” Dunn, Martyn P. Casey, Charles Mingus and Adam Yauch.
Jon: I thought you were gonna add Sting at the end there.
Andy: I’d have to go with Kid Cudi and Queens of the Stone Age — some kind of hybrid of the two.
Adam: There’s definitely an element of stoner hip-hop in our music. It’s not on the surface, but it’s there. Songwriting-wise, I’d say everything’s more about [the] writing process and less about musical inspiration.
MP: Why are you called Brothers O’Hair?
Adam: It’s a family name; our mother’s maiden name.
MP: So you are all actually related?
All: Yes.
MP: Are you working on an album right now?
Jon: We just wrapped. Release is Nov. 13. Big party at the Larimer Lounge.
Adam: It’s just a five-song deal. We’ve been working on it entirely too long.
MP: What’s your favorite part of playing live?
Andy: I do this particular head-twist thing that tends to splatter people with sweat. Nobody but me probably enjoys it, but I get a kick out of it.
Adam: It’s definitely fun to come together and create something, obviously. And [to] just get up there and play it, I think everyone can understand that. Being able to play with other bands, good bands, that’s definitely a huge aspect of it.
Jon: I’m big on the energy. We all bring a lot when we get up in front of a crowd, and we all feed off each other, as well as the crowd. It’s just a good time.
Joe: I just like being the center of attention.
Andy: But really, in all seriousness, nothing feels better than to create something and actually see somebody just love the hell out of it. Any person that creates art and denies that is full of it. It’s the best feeling in the world to perform your craft and have somebody show up to see you do that. - The Metropolitan


Like a fresh breath of Rocky Mountain air the Brother’s O’Hair deliver a sound that will stay with you for a long time. What started off as an Austin, Texas project has migrated north to Mile High City of Denver. Some might label these guys under the indie folk genre, but no matter what you may consider them they bring emotion, infectious rhythms and worthiness to the hard work they put in, as it is clearly visible in the cohesiveness of their sound especially on the track “The Keating Heritage”. Adam Anglin leads the blissful assault on vocals, whose lyrical contribution conjures up similarities to those of Ben Gibbard and M. Ward. On guitar we have Joe Mills and Andy Burrow complimenting each other with a well-balanced array of wailing sounds and timely rhythms and providing the bass thumping percussion is Jon Aisner. With a current state of oversaturated indie pop flooding the airwaves the Brother’s O’Hair deliver a change of pace that seems to be taking over Denver music scene like its common winter blizzards. With a debut album in the works one thing is for sure this band will give you your money’s worth with every performance, a true reflection of a band just having a great time making music.
-Robert Castro - www.awalkingdisaster.net


The name is either really brilliant or totally awful—who doesn’t love/hate a clever spelling?—but the polarizing first impression doesn’t reflect how straightforwardly good the Brothers O’Hair actually are. Call it whiskey-soaked rock or roots-inspired alternative; the Denver-by-way-of-Austin transplants are on the path of riotous barroom anthems and forlorn working-class ballads. The newbie band (just barely around the year mark) still feels and sounds unpolished, but charmingly so. A debut album is currently in the works, slated for release sometime in 2010. - The Onion


Discography

Shifters, Cowards, and Drifters EP
Brothers O'Hair EP

Photos

Bio

Michael (Mickey) O'Hare (O'Hair, is an American spelling) grew up playing/singing traditional Irish folk music mostly without instrumentation until the Irish famine of 1740-1741. Not to be confused with the Great Famine of 1845-1852. His family passed away during this time, and at the age of 12 he left for America. He served in the Virginia Militia of 1776, he was also listed in the Continental Army for two years. Illinois Regiment for 3 years (1779-1782). Married three times, 19 children. Basically a badass.

His son, Red Everette O'Hair, knew of the family's singing history and carried the torch by organizing a family singing group with his brothers, John, Michael, and Harrison. They sang at family gatherings/reunions, local carnivals and live stock auctions. They had a local following that never amounted to much of anything. It's a well known fact of my family that they would sing Irish folk songs, hymns, and Christmas carols.

Red's grandsons started Brothers O'Hair in the Great Smokey Mountains, near where Tennessee meets North Carolina. Brothers Patrick, Shane, Liam, and Colm started the band and traveled Appalachia playing for anyone who was willing to listen. Soon they decided to head West, leaving brother Shane at home to take care of their parents and their sheep. Family friend William Quinn took over the rhythm guitar duties in Shane's absence.
Although the rest of the band's line-up remained stable after this change, Brothers O'Hair switched rhythm guitarists three times during their tour. William left the band saying being on the road was taking its toll on him. He eventually became the guitarist for The Lianhan Shee. He was replaced by Thomas Byrne. Byrne lasted one tour with the band, but left the band during a show in Arkansas because of ego conflicts. The tour was completed with Adam Anglin on the guitar.
The band then planted themselves in Austin, TX, becoming a notable part of the vibrant music scene. A few years later, Colm passed away in a freak farming accident. The band brought in Jon Aisner (formerly of The Burren and the Blarney Stone) to replace him on the drums and took back to the road, citing the bad memory now associated with Austin.
After a meltdown on stage in Milwaukee, Patrick asked Liam to leave, claiming differences regarding musical direction. Samuel Flynn was brought in to replace him on lead guitar. This lineup only did one show - in El Dorado, KS - winning the award for best group at the city's annual International Festival of the Song. After that, Samuel left and Wichita based Andrew Burrow (formerly of The Red-Haired Man and the Man of Hunger) became the new lead guitarist.
A mere six months later, after a show in denver, Patrick, the only original member remaining, packed up and disappeared in the middle of the night leaving the band without a lead singer and bass player. No one has heard from him since. Adam stepped into the lead singer role, while the band found Denver based Joe Mills to play the bass.
This current incarnation of Brothers O'Hair have remained around Denver for approximately a year and are excited to be releasing the first EP with the lineup they hope will remain intact for the foreseeable future.