After relocating from Grand Rapids to Nashville, the band plays two big homecoming shows this fall. Local Spins on WYCE also debuted tracks by Molly, Austin Benzing, Dede & The Dreamers and more.
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Brother Elsey has paid its dues as a touring Midwest band, crisscrossing the region over the years with its harmony-laden, rock-infused Americana music that’s cultivated an ever-growing audience of fans.
So, its current fall tour – hitting everything from The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids tonight to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Columbus and beyond – feels like a vindication of sorts for the hard work and all those thankless nights on the road after sparsely attended gigs.
Call it a return on their investment.
“It’s blown away our expectations and that just comes from us being able to circle back to these markets (after) hitting these markets relentlessly,” Brady Stablein said of robust ticket sales for many of the shows.
“There’s finally an uptick, which feels really nice.”
That “uptick” for a band that relocated from Grand Rapids to Nashville at the end of 2021 includes opening for some major touring acts, including The Wallflowers – led by Jacob Dylan – on Dec. 15 at GLC Live at 20 Monroe in downtown Grand Rapids. (This comes after the band opened last month for The Head and The Heart at 20 Monroe.)
“It’s surreal,” Stablein conceded. “I know we’re going to be dreaming about the day until the show actually comes. … So excited to play with such a legendary band at one of the greatest venues of all-time. Such a dream to play our music with a band that inspires us.”
Tickets — $29.50-$195 – are still available for the Dec. 15 show online here.
The band also plays The Pyramid Scheme at 8 p.m. tonight (Nov. 11), along with Oliver Hazard, Rin Tarsy and Jefferson Rinck. Tickets are $15 in advance, available online here.
The Wallflowers show is just the latest notch in the belt for a band of brothers with roots in the Detroit area which settled in the Grand Rapids area in 2017 before making the move to Nashville.
The band – Brady on vocals and guitar, Jack Stablein on lead guitar, Beau Stablein on bass and “honorary brother” Dalton Thomas on drums – released its 2021 album, “You Don’t Know Anything,” in 2021 before heading to Music City.
“We’ve loved it and we’re just finding where we fit in Nashville, making friends and connections,” Stablein said.
“The industry is just there in Nashville. You go out to a bar or a restaurant and the people that you’re around all work within the industry in some response. It’s opened our eyes to different avenues for us within the music industry.”
TEETERING ON THE SIDE OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL AND AMERICANA
It’s also marked a change from the “really great culture,” openness and welcoming nature of Grand Rapids’ music scene.
“It (Nashville) does come with a little bit more intimidation, but I think we’ve handled it well so far,” Stablein said.
As part of that new chapter, Brother Elsey is working on finishing up its third EP, with additional studio sessions schedule for December and January.
“2023 will be filled with lots of new music and as many shows as we’ve ever played,” he said, noting the band is playing two new songs on its current tour. “Hopefully, hitting some brand new cities, especially out West.”
As they’ve expanded their fan base, the band also has honed its sound.
“We’re getting into a new style of Americana with our new music, focusing more so on our harmonies and our songwriting, and allowing our production style to complement that in the best way,” Stablein said.
“I think over the last year, our view of our music has been solidified in Americana.”
Along those lines, band members have found themselves drawn to and “absolutely obsessed” with the music of artists such as John Moreland, Marcus Mumford, Sam Fender and Holly Humberstone.
Then again, expect these boys to turn up the volume and rock out on stage.
“We kind of teeter on the side of rock ‘n’ roll and Americana,” Stablein said. “But we love to get louder, especially in our live shows, and lean into rock ‘n’ roll.”
In addition to spotlighting tracks from Brother Elsey’s last album, this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE — which showcases local and regional music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org — unveiled new music from Austin Benzing, Dede & The Dreamers, Medicinal Groove, Pink Sky, The Cosmoknights, Molly, Kari Lynch, Raul Andres, Feeding Grizzlies and The Fever Haze (this week’s musicians’ pick by Brother Elsey). Listen to the full radio show podcast here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (11/11/22)
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