Germany’s Bear Family Records has turned their archival attention to The Brother Boys, a pioneering Americana act from east Tennessee that blended bluegrass, old time, folk, country, and blues influences in their own original material.
The result is The Brother Boys: On The Honky Tonk Highway With The Brother Boys, a two CD set with 51 tracks taken from the band’s three early albums, with a number of unreleased live and radio recordings, plus several from their 2021 “comeback” project. And as is the Bear Family custom, the set includes a full color booklet with detailed notes, interviews, and photos, some never before made available.
The Brother Boys have been consistently based on the music of singers and songwriters Ed Snodderly and Eugene Wolf, along with a number of musicians who have served as bandmates from 1988 forward. The name comes from their close, brother-style harmony, even on songs from outside the expected repertoire for that genre.
This archival project was curated and annotated by Ted Olsen, Appalachian Studies professor at East Tennessee State University, and a recognized authority on Appalachian music and culture. All of the tracks were remastered for this project by Marcus Heumann.
The track listing shows a good many Brother Boys originals, which they describe as New Hillbilly Music, and classics from the early days like The Louvin Brothers’ Great Atomic Power and the old time standard, Jordan Am A Hard Road to Travel.
Audio samples and a full track listing can be found online.