Music

Calgary roots-rock act Brother Bicker Band ready to bring the heat to anyone, anywhere

Sure, it might be a little chilly when the Brother Bicker Band take the outdoor Main Stage at the Inglewood Night Market on Friday, Sept 14 — rain, snow or more rain and snow.

But the Calgary quintet are fairly seasoned when it comes warming folks up in the cold, cold air.

In fact, the biggest and bestest gig in their four-year career was in crisp, minus-10 weather at the foot of the Rockies this past February, when they performed in Canmore as part of Rogers Hometown Hockey.

“It was definitely a highlight so far of our musical journey,” says guitarist-vocalist Jeremy Hrdlicka.

The show came about after they threw their hat in the ring via their membership in the Alberta Music Association, and it has been something of a game-changer for the act, which also features fellow guitarist-vocalist Tom Mogan, drummer Bash Raines, bassist Jim Duncan, and Ben Ellard on keys and vocals.

On a professional level, they picked up a couple of gigs from it, including the release party for their latest single Since You Went Away — a jaunty and jangly roots-rock rave-up — at the Canmore Brewing Company last month.

And on a personal level, well, it always helps to have the kind of validation that comes with a TV appearance

“We played a gig a few months after that,” he says of a show and the soundman’s acknowledgement of their CBC appearance. “He came up and goes, ‘You know, I was lying on my couch … and I’m nursing a hangover, and I turn on the hockey game and there you guys are on national television.’

“So that was kind of cool.”

The Brother Bicker Band are more likely to cause hangovers than cure them — their music is

a pub-friendly, party-starting, almost instantly singalongable mix of folk, rock and country, with elements of blues and reggae throw in for good measure.

It’s made them an easy act to slot in any venue from Vern’s and the Blind Beggar to the Ironwood, as well as other public family events — they can play anywhere and with anyone for any audience.

“It’s nice when you can cross genres or mix genres up,” Hrdlicka admits.

“I enjoy playing that kind of music and being accessible in almost any room we go into.”

He continues. “We do really fit in anywhere, because we’ve got a really accessible sound, I think, that crosses a lot of genres.

“We played A Taste of Calgary last year and we were chatting with one of the opening bands and a guy in the band had mentioned to us, ‘You guys, I can’t pin you down. Your sound is all over the map.’

“I kind of take that as a compliment.”

Actually, “all over the map” doesn’t really do them justice, as that sound, while diverse and drawing from influences as far reaching as Pearl Jam and Def Leppard to the Zac Brown Band, is also a little more reined in.

The project actually grew out of Hrdlicka’s own solo work — he coming at music a little later in life, self-teaching himself on the guitar at the age of 30, hitting open mics around the city, before deciding that he needed some other Brothers with him on the journey.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he says of the crew.

“Not only the camaraderie, but I find when we get into the songwriting part and everybody brings a piece to the table we just get better songs … It’s just been very satisfying having it as a band as opposed to doing the solo stuff.

“I’m really happy and excited at how things have played out. I really love being in a band and how it’s morphed.”

And while things are certainly happening for Brother Bicker right now and he’s excited about what’s to come — the new single has, he says, opened even more doors for them, and there are plans for more recording and more releases in the very near future — Hrdlicka is under no illusion that music will supplant his day job as the main contributor to his bank account.

It is after all, he says, “a young man’s game,” but it’s one he’s more than pleased to be playing at this time and with this band.

“We’re excited about the next little while,” he says. “It’s gonna be a lot of fun. We’ve got some great gigs and some music to share with the world. I’m happy about that.”

Brother Bicker Band perform Friday, Sept. 14 at the Inglewood Night Market’s Main Stage just off 9th Ave. and 10th St. S.W.

Tags: