Thursday, January 06, 2011

You say you like brother duets?

About this time of year, a lot of folks are experiencing post-holiday blahs. Here's a fabulous way you might get yourself out of this funk...make plans to get to either the next Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU)-sponsored concert on Saturday, January 15th, or a show on Sunday, January 16th in Bellows Falls, VT, which is being sponsored by the same folks who bring you the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival. On the bill at each show: two of the finest brother duets you're ever going to hear -- the Gibson Brothers and the Spinney Brothers. Both of these bands of brothers are top-notch, and if you've ever listened to the "Bluegrass Cafe," you know that we're pretty fond of both groups.

The similarities between these two bands are numerous: each group features two brothers who are very close in age; in each group, one brother plays the banjo, and the other the guitar; there is a third member in each group who may not be a blood-related brother, but has worked with his band for so long, they might as well be; both bands perform a good bit of original music; and their most important similarity: each group can produce harmonies that rival other brother duos of which you may have heard (with last names like Delmore, Louvin, and Everly).

You NEED to be at one, or maybe even BOTH of these shows next weekend. The BBU show is on Saturday, January 15th at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA and starts at 7:30PM. For more information, visit, and click on the "Concerts" tab. You may also call the BBU hotline: (617)782-2251, or email The Bellows Falls show happens at the Bellows Falls Opera House at noon on Sunday, January 16th. More info can be found by clicking here, or email

I hope to see you at at least one of these shows. Don't miss an opportunity to hear some wonderful harmonies, or you'll be kicking yourself all year...

Oh, and if you think I'm biased about how great these shows are going to be, well, you may be right. However, I'm not alone in my praise of the Gibsons and the Spinneys. You should also read what one of the Rounder Records founders, Ken Irwin, has to say about these shows. In his post on the New England Bluegrass listserv this week, he wrote: "I love both of these bands! For my taste, this should be one of the best concerts that bluegrass fans will get to see for a long time...Both bands are playing their music at a very high level and both put on very entertaining shows...[this] show with the Gibson Brothers and the Spinney Brothers is a show I've been looking forward to since it was announced a while back. While there are other family bands out there, these are the bluegrass bands from their respective sides of the border who are doing the most to push the duet in bluegrass."

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