Making a name for yourself in the music industry is no easy task, but some artists are up for tackling it with creative ways to get it done. The Bay Area’s Americana mavens The Brothers Comatose are of this ilk. Following three critically acclaimed full-length studio albums (Songs From The Stoop, Respect The Van, City Painted Gold), The Brothers Comatose disrupts the traditional album cycle and focuses their 2017/2018 release schedule on a series of strategically released songs. Subsequent to their initial songs “Don’t Make Me Get Up And Go,” “Cedarwood Pines,” and “Get Me Home” in their new series, the five-piece string band releases “Joshua Tree” with an accompanying music video featuring lead singer Ben Morrison and Erika Tietjen of the T Sisters in Joshua Tree, Calif..
Produced by indie-rock legend John Vanderslice, “Joshua Tree” is released on December 8 to coincide with The Brothers Comatose’s hometown New Year’s Eve run at The Catalyst (Santa Cruz, CA: Dec. 28), McNear’s Mystic Theatre (Petaluma, CA: Dec. 29 & 30), and Cornerstone (Berkeley, CA: Dec. 31). The first three tracks in their new song series were released in connection with the “Campfire Caravan” national tour featuring The Brothers Comatose, Mipso and The Lil Smokies.
The Brothers Comatose are anything but a traditional acoustic outfit with their fierce musicianship and rowdy live shows reminiscent of stadium rock concerts. The band churns out raucous West Coast renderings of traditional bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, and alt-country, and with the video for “Joshua Tree” the band departs from their typical whimsical charm to capture two otherworldly beings landing in the desert for a psychedelic adventure.
Beautiful acoustic guitar work and crooning baritone vocals from lead singer Ben Morrison opens up “Joshua Tree.” An escapist tale for a couple weighed down by the burdens of big city life, “Joshua Tree” hones in on how simple pleasures become amplified when experienced in a magical desert world such as Joshua Tree, Calif. Running through the sand, drinking cold wine, dreaming about the sun, there isn’t a worry in the world. Even with city life weighing you down, “Joshua Tree” celebrates a destination where you can leave your concerns at the door and focus on what’s important.
Ben Morrison comments, “After a productive first half day at Tiny Telephone studio, the band and Vanderslice went out for a late lunch in the Mission District in San Francisco for some massive burritos. We got back to the studio and I thought we were just going to lay down one more track with just instruments, but Vanderslice wanted to cut ‘Joshua Tree,’ all live. Having a big belly full of burrito is pretty bad for singing, but we decided to go for it anyway. At that point, the song was only conceptualized as a vocal and guitar track. We kept it sparse and only added background vocals and bass parts toward the end of the song. Our mandolin player Ryan Avellone played an old 1938 Gibson J-35, I played my Holcomb resonator and we cut vocals and guitars all at the same time, while Gio Benedetti put down some bowed upright bass and Vanderslice added some Moog synth for extra low end. Vanderslice mixed the track in less than 20 minutes.”
The Brothers Comatose is comprised of brothers Ben Morrison (guitar, vocals) and Alex Morrison (banjo, vocals), Gio Benedetti (bass, vocals), Philip Brezina (violin), and Ryan Avellone (mandolin). When they’re not headlining The Fillmore for a sold-out show or appearing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the band is out on the road performing across America, Canada, Australia, and hosting their very own music festival, Comatopia. In 2018, The Brothers Comatose will travel to Asia for a month of cultural music exchange and education with American Music Abroad, a program directed by the State Department.
For more information regarding The Brothers Comatose, please visit: brotherscomatose.com.
THE BROTHERS COMATOSE — NEW YEAR’S EVE 2017 SHOWS
Thursday, December 28 — Santa Cruz, CA — The Catalyst
Friday, December 29 & Saturday, December 30 — Petaluma, CA — McNear’s Mystic Theatre
Sunday, December 31 — Berkeley, CA — Cornerstone