Twin Brother – Good City Brewing Festival 06/17/17

by William Piper
Milwaukee’s Twin Brother is a band re-imagined.  Fronted by West Allis native, Sean Raasch, Twin Brother has been playing indie-inspired folk rock in town since 2012.  The band released two records, 2013’s self-titled release, and 2014’s Swallow the Anchor, which drew a lot of praise and earned Twin Brother headlining club gigs across town as well as opening slots at Turner Hall for several national acts. However, not content to be a band pigeonholed in the ever growing alternative country folk scene, Raasch and longtime bandmate Lodi Broekhuizen retooled Twin Brother, adding new members and expanding the band’s sonic repertoire.

Alongside Raash and Broekhuizen at the core of Twin Brother are Terry Hackbarth playing bass, Andrew Eshbaugh on trumpet, Marlese Koehlein playing organ and  keyboards, and Luke Rivard on drums and percussion.  The result of the collaboration of these musicians is a band who has emerged from its cocoon with a full-bodied, complex and diverse sound that takes into account each of its members’ strengths as performers and blends them together into a unique, original, juggernaut of sound.

Recently, we had a chance to catch up with Sean Raasch to talk about the retooled Twin Brother:

MKE Rocks: How would you describe your band’s sound as its evolved over the years?
Raasch: The sound is simply larger now.  The arrangements are more intricate and the musicianship has stepped up.

MKE Rocks: How have new members helped shape the new sound?
Raasch: Everyone brings their own flavor.  Everyone’s individual style is what makes the band unique in an otherwise generic and saturated market.  We pull from genres all the way from power pop to 70’s prog rock to r&b and soul.

MKE Rocks: Do you focus on playing mainly new tracks, or are you mixing in older stuff as well?
Raasch: We have a mix of everything but you’d have to come to a concert for that info 🙂

Twin Brother played an afternoon set at the inaugural Good City Brewing Fest, celebrating the one year anniversary of one of Milwaukee’s most acclaimed new mico-breweries.  This festival curated by the Pabst-Riverside Theater Group featured a boon of local talent including sets by Klassik and Fever Marlene.  The family-friendly evet was a great way to showcase local talent, food and great brews.
Twin Brother’s spirited set drew heavily on new material, some of which will appear on a forthcoming EP set for release in September, and on a full-length album the band is working on at Honeytone Studios.  Eshbaugh’s horns play a prominent role in the melodies of the tunes, bringing a Calexico-style Tex-Mex vibe to the group.  Moreover, Broekhuizen’s guitar work was on point, often jamming effortlessly into Jerry Garcia inspired progressions.  Rivard also added his percussion prowess to the mix, especially on numbers like “Ladybird” and “Heywood,” the first single released from the new incarnation of Twin Brother.  Everything considered, the band clearly seemed to have fun and enjoy creating music together.  Raasch was particularly relaxed on stage and Koehlein and Hackbarth effortlessly glued the sound together.

Twin Brother has emerged as a complex and musically diverse act– breaking the boundries of Americana to create something fresh and new. Pairing Raasch’s introspective storytelling lyrics alongside lush sonic arrangements make Twin Brother one of the more interesting, fun and insightful acts on the scene today.  If you haven’t caught a Twin Brother show recently, do yourself a favor and check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

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