Brother Sun
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Brother Sun

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF | AFM

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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



"Brother Sun Conqurers Folk-Radio Charts"

Musicians Pat Wictor, Greg Greenway and Joe Jencks already made names for themselves as singer-songwriters. As the trio Brother Sun, they fused folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock and a cappella singing, to bring music and a message that has earned the respect and appeal of fans of both contemporary and traditional music.

“Brother Sun comes together through our vocal harmonies, which lets us blend all our musical vocabularies into new and interesting mixtures,” Wictor said. “We might be one of the only bands in the world with slide guitar and bouzouki, for example, and they blend together seamlessly.”

Wictor said he considers himself a walking advertisement for music education. He was born in Venezuela but moved around a lot growing up.

“In a small school I attended, they made all the eight-graders learn to play the guitar, and I was hooked,” he said.

Through bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Wictor discovered blues and his interests grew from there.

“My older brother truly brought music into our house, and I sang with him,” Greenway said, citing Richie Havens, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Billy Taylor, Chick Corea and Randy Newman as influences.

Jencks is the youngest in a large musical family and said music has been a part of his life since he could walk.

“I grew up singing with my sisters and brothers, which made vocal harmony the foundation of my life,” Jencks said. “I studied voice and piano and did a lot of musical theater as well.

When it came to naming the trio, the three men sought a name that captured the essence of their music but something that had reference points in the natural world, history, luminosity, masculinity, and spirituality.

“I ran (Brother Sun) past the guys, and they agreed that it fit,” Jencks said. “It captures something of who we are as musicians in consort with each other creatively and artistically. Greg said once so eloquently — ‘The music of Brother Sun is not resident within any one of us, but rather it exists in the space between us.’ I liked that idea. The name captures that for us.”

For the group’s second album, “Some Part of the Truth,” the musicians knew they wanted it to be more produced than their first. The biggest decision the band made was to work with Grammy Award-winning producer Ben Wisch (Steve Winwood, Willy Porter, Kathy Mattea).

“Ben brought in some incredible musicians, most notably Zev Katz, on stand-up bass, electric bass and fretless,” Greenway said. “In the end, Zev was the biggest difference musically between the two CDs — that and Ben’s incredible mixing.”

The response to the record has been tremendous. “Some Part of the Truth” debuted at No. 1 on the North American folk music chart; the single “Lady of the Harbor” was the most-played song on folk radio in 2013.Eight songs from the album have made the top 100. The accolades have made “Some Part of the Truth” the No. 1 CD on the folk DJ list for 2013.

Having played in the area before, Brother Sun has seen how passionate and knowledgeable the acoustic music audiences are in central Pennsylvania

“The (Center for Well-Being) is a beautiful, resonant space; the room is perfect for singing and brings out the power in our voices,” Wictor said. “Acoustic Brew has built a great core audience supporting the concert series.

For Wictor, making music is something that he feels he simply has to do.

“It’s a privilege and a dream fulfilled to do it for a living, and a special thing to collaborate with such great musicians and human beings as Joe and Greg,” he said. “I’m confident that if we keep growing, stretching and making great music together, people will enjoy what we do.”

“The most wonderful part of this is that the second people hear the blend of our voices, they start smiling — that’s a great feeling,” Greenway said. “The most frequent comment I get starts with how tight our vocals are and leads to what our hearts are about. That is exactly what we intend.”

Jencks said he hopes to touch people’s hearts and connect them with their own truth.

“We all move through the world with so much emotional armor, and music helps us shed that armor and be real for a while,” he said. “I think we make records more for our fans than for ourselves. It allows them to keep accessing that heart space that they love, even after the concert. It’s a way of keeping the breath of life flowing in the world. The practice of making music live — that too is the breath of life for us. It is the expression of our deepest truth.”

Read more here: - by Jason Klose, Centre Daily Times, State College, PA, November 14, 2014

"WFUV’s On Your Radar at Landmark: Terrific Triple Bill"

WFUV DJ John Platt is a fixture at Landmark on Main Street. Whether advising the staff on who to book or providing introductions for the folk series concerts, Platt’s signature “Hello music lovers” is a familiar welcome to Landmark visitors. Saturday night’s triple bill of Martyn Joseph, Amy Speace, and Brother Sun was part of Platt’s “On Your Radar” series – usually held on the second Tuesday of the month in NYC – which aims to expose the audience to musicians who should be “on your radar.” Before each artist performed, Platt conducted a short interview, adding a whole new level to the concert. [.............]

The final performers were a folk trio called Brother Sun. The group is comprised of three veterans of the folk scene: Pat Wictor, Greg Greenway, and Joe Jencks. I have been listening to Wictor for years, since I first heard him at a library performance a decade ago, however I had not had the pleasure of seeing this trio before. Leaving their instruments on stands, the trio burst into an acapella version of “What Must be Done,” and the magic of this group was instantly apparent. The stunned crowd was silent for a heartbeat before bursting into raucous applause. During the rest of the set, the guys took turns singing lead, while the others provided beautiful soaring harmonies. Some of my favorites were the lovely “Sister Moon,” featuring Wictor on lead vocal and electric guitar, “Jericho Road,” with Greenway taking the lead, and “Lady of the Harbor” featuring a masterful bouzouki solo by Jencks. Greenway masterfully played both keyboards and also guitar, Jencks has an extremely beautiful voice and is an adept guitarist, and Wictor is a highly regarded slide guitarist (and let me note that this is a particularly challenging instrument to play). But aside from the beautiful sounds, it was clear that these musicians are also beautiful inside, and their set had the uplifting feeling of a revival meeting. They also performed “Love is the Water” which I’ve heard Wictor perform on numerous occasions, but the trio’s rendition gave it a whole new feeling. Brother Sun closed with a mind-bending mashup of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” with original material. If you love vocal harmony, you will love the beautiful sounds of Brother Sun.

The encore was a delight. Brother Sun invited Joseph and Speace out and the five musicians (plus the audience) did a rousing version of “Irene Goodnight.” The perfect ending to a perfect, 3-hour concert. I smiled all the way home. - by Ann W. Latner, Port Washington Patch, April 9, 2014

"Brother Sun, Award-Winning Folk Group, to Perform in Honesdale"

HONESDALE — The folk group Brother Sun will perform at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, as part of the RiverFolk Concerts at the Cooperage located at 1030 Main St. in Honesdale.

“The moment Greg Greenway, Joe Jencks and Pat Wictor pooled their voices as Brother Sun in 2011, the folk world was enriched by their harmony, humanity, and humor," says John Platt of WFUV-New York. "In the years since, their bond with each other and their fans has only deepened. If there's any justice (something they care deeply about), their superb sophomore release, 'Some Part of the Truth,' should bring the warmth of Brother Sun to a whole new world hungry for the healing power of their music.”

Members of the harmony trio Brother Sun have made their mark as veteran touring singer-songwriters, but Brother Sun is no songwriter's round. The trio's harmonies, as much as their lyrics, tell what they are about: warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, rousing as a call to arms. Their latest CD "Some Part of the Truth" (Brother Sun Music) was just named The North American Folk Music Chart’s Album of the Year for 2013. In addition, their song "Lady of the Harbor" was named Song of the Year.

Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the male singing tradition. Three rich voices blend on a well-crafted foundation of guitar, slide guitar, piano, ukulele, and bouzouki.

The suggested donation $18 in advance, or $20 at the door. - Pike County Courier, Milford, PA, January 9, 2014

"Folk ‘Brothers’ Unite for New Harmony Trio"

Although most folk singer/songwriters tour solo around the country — a situation unique among musical genres — their world is a tight-knit one where everybody seems to know pretty much everybody else. Chalk that one up to gatherings around festival campfires, shared concerts at various stops on the road, and some mutual admiration of each other’s talents.

So it makes sense that Pat Wictor, Greg Greenway and Joe Jencks — all performers with years of performing and multiple albums under their belts — had become friends and even guested on one another’s recordings over the years. It wasn’t until they happened to share the stage a couple of summers ago, though, that they realized how well they harmonized both vocally and musically.

“It was a mutual moment — we all saw this tremendous electricity with the three of us singing together, and a light bulb went on for all three of us simultaneously,” Wictor said during an interview with the trio last week.

The magic wasn’t lost on the audience either, Greenway said: “People came up to us and said, ‘There’s something really special going on, and you’d be numbskulls if you didn’t do something together.’”

“It was a mandate from the people, man!” Jencks added with a laugh.

They rejected dozens of names — perhaps even hundreds — before the new project was dubbed Brother Sun, which reflects mystical resonance as diverse as Lakota Indian lore and a canticle from St. Francis of Assisi. After months of planning via phone conferences and email (Wictor, Greenway and Jencks live in New York City, Boston and Chicago, respectively), the trio recorded a self-titled debut album and is currently in the middle of a cross-country tour.

Brother Sun will stop Saturday night at 6 on the Square in Oxford; the concert is a fundraiser for Chenango County Habitat for Humanity, which builds and renovates houses for those who might not otherwise be able to afford one.

That commitment to one purpose is certainly something that the men of Brother Sun can appreciate. When deciding what to perform, their vocal harmonies are uppermost on their minds.

“What makes us happiest is when people see us for the first time — particularly people who have seen one of the three of us individually — and say, ‘We expected to see three singer/songwriters doing their thing, but we never expected to see this,’” Greenway said. “The sound of our voices together, it’s almost impossible to pull out any of us individually — the blend of it becomes the thing.”

Not to be underestimated either is the mix of instruments. Like good folkies, each can handle an acoustic guitar — but Greenway is a talent on keyboards, Wictor is a deft hand on fretless slide guitar and Jencks shows skill on bouzouki.

For the album, the trio reimagined previously released songs — Wictor’s “Love is the Water” and Greenway’s “What Must Be Done,” both gospel-tinged a capella numbers, were natural choices — and also included soaring new tunes such as Jencks’ “Shine” (written in memory of his brother) and “All I Want is a Garden” and Wictor’s “Sister Moon.”

In addition to the music, Jencks thinks the band’s camaraderie and lack of egos — especially among three men — offer audiences an appealing alternative to a troubled and often selfish world.

“I think people grab that energy and run with it. We’re all hungry for that – we all want to know somebody’s got our backs,” he said.

“There’s been a psychological shift in the past year as I’ve allowed by consciousness to move into a place of being part of a team effort, and it’s actually relieving— it’s great to wake up in the morning and know I don’t have to go through this whole process alone.”

So far, Brother Sun has exceeded band members’ initial goals — in addition to the album and tour, they scored spots at Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas earlier this month and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in upstate New York in July. Now, they need to figure out what’s ahead — but they have some ideas for that, too.

“I’m excited to think about what our next record is going to be, because we’re going to delve further for this ensemble,” Wictor said. “We’re all settling into an understanding of what we bring to the table, and it’s going to be easier to write for this grouping now that we’ve been playing together and singing together for several months.” - by Chris Kocher, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, NY, June 17, 2011


Brother Sun - Self titled debut CD (2011)
Brother Sun - Some Part of the Truth (2013)

Brother Sun - Weights & Wings (2016)



National touring artists Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway and Pat Wictor have made their mark as veteran singer-songwriters, but Brother Sun is no songwriter's round.  The trio's harmonies, as much as their lyrics, tell what they are about:  warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, rousing as a call to arms.  Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions. 
From three major points on the map - Chicago, Boston, and New York - Joe, Greg, and Pat have truly blended themselves into Brother Sun, a unique celebration of the amazing power of singing together. As they will tell you, Brother Sun is not resident in any one of them - it exists between them and audiences feel this intimacy immediately. Their combined musical skills make for an unforgettable experience - three rich voices blending on a well-crafted foundation of guitar, slide guitar, bouzouki and piano.
The response has been tremendous. Brother Sun's dynamic festival performances at Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Old Songs, and Philadelphia Folk all met with standing ovations. The trio’s new CD, "Some Part of the Truth," debuted at #1 on the Folk-DJ charts and remained there for two consecutive months. "Lady of the Harbor" was the #1 song on Folk-DJ for April 2013. WFUV has named Brother Sun as one of their "New Artists to Watch" in 2013. Their busy tour schedule takes them through many parts of the U.S. and Canada.

"What happens when you unite three of the best male singers in the folk realm who already revel in harmony singing? Brother Sun. While numerous delightful female trios harmonize, few men bond that way these days (unlike the days of the folk revival when they were the norm). Added to great voices, energy and sincerity are worthy compositions in three distinct styles that bring to mind a modern day gospel."
 - Rich Warren, WFMT, Midnight Special, Chicago, IL

"Is there any reason why any music festival in America would not want to book this talented, versatile, can do just about any stage, trio?  I can't think of any. "
- Anne Saunders, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

"The real breakout artists [at Falcon Ridge] this year had to be Brother Sun... who've come together to form a trio that's all about harmony - in their music and in their lives. Their joyful music making earned them a standing ovation in their mainstage set."
-John Platt, WFUV New York

"I just heard one of the best new songs of my life. The song is called "Trouble," and the group is called Brother Sun. Three magnificent, male voices---together. Gives me the chills---in the nicest way ever!"
-Gene Shay, WXPN Philadelphia

"......excellent music superbly performed.....The music of Brother Sun gives us courage to strive for a better world and to make more of our own lives. Thank you for that."
-Rev. Evan Keely, UU Blue Ridge, Washington, VA

Band Members