This week’s Alive After Five headliner: The Brothers Comatose
Go Listen Boise local opener: Sarah Sample


Ben Morrison and Alex Morrison are brothers. They have been making music together from birth. Ben’s first word was “front-man” and Alex’s was “moustache” (see band photo). Joe Pacini and Gio Benedetti met Ben and Alex in high school. They shared many a living room jam session, many a raucous music party, many a front-stoop hoedown, but there was no band.

After years of studying, vision quests in far off lands, moving about, relocating, and the occasional intermittent music party, the young and now much hairier fellows found themselves in San Francisco with Alex, Ben and Joe living in a vibe-steeped flat on Haight Street, playing music (Ben on guitar, Alex on Banjo — both of them singing — and Joe on mandolin and cigarette breaks) at parties and open mics across the fair city. They needed a bassist. Gio happened to be a bassist. He also happened to live nearby.

The, now quartet continued their tradition of stoop-and-living-room-esque performances, but moved them public. The dive bars of San Francisco became inspired, momentary homes, as friends, fans and music lovers rallied around the snug honesty of the band’s barroom shows. All they lacked was a brilliant fiddler with tremendous soloing skills, and with feet and soul firmly planted in the legacy of old-time, bluegrass musics. Oh where, oh where could such a person be?

Philip Brezina — graduate student in classical violin at the nearby Conservatory and recent transplant from Pennsylvania — knew good roots music, knew how to play it and, best of all, knew how to play it on the fiddle. He wandered into the quartet (answering an ad posted in the Conservatory halls), and the long lost Brother Comatose was found.

Doors began opening. Performances at such legendary places as San Francisco’s Fillmore Poster Room, the Great American Music Hall, Strawberry Music Festival and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival followed, supporting such acts as The Devil Makes Three, Justin Townes Earle, Hillstomp, Greensky Bluegrass, John Doe and the Sadies, Yonder Mountain String Band and others.

Now touring in support of their recent debut full-length, Songs From The Stoop, The Brothers Comatose aim at converting the entire West Coast into their Living Room Music Party. Their shows exude a foot-stomping, shout-along, drink-along ease that was once a staple in every music-playing, front-stoop-possessing home in the land. Their shows can’t help but remind folk that music is collective, is for dancing, is for sharing, and for whatever else you might do with friends and family in your own living room.

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