Improv is key for West Coast rockers Brothers Gow
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"1975," The Brothers Gow
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
For California-based rockers Brothers Gow, writing a song is only part of the fun.
The band — which will make its Amarillo debut with a 10 p.m. Saturday show at Leftwood's, 2511 S.W. Sixth Ave. — is as much known for its original songs and cover tunes (a diverse array including Led Zeppelin tracks and Michael Jackson hits) as it is for its jam-band vibe. Cover is $5.
"We've got a really cool mix of singer-songwriter music and improv'd songs," said percussionist Nathan Walsh-Haines. "We've got some songs that are four minutes long and some songs that are 12 or more minutes with composed guitar harmonies and hip-hop sections that don't really recall the traditional singer-songwriter format."
And, like any jam band worth its salt, a lot of the music can be made up on the fly on stage.
"I think there's a certain freedom in that," Walsh-Haines said. "It keeps the material fresh ... and it also kind of pushes everyone's creativity. It's a little bit of an adrenaline rush to be pushed into creating in a live setting.
"You want to execute, you want it correct. But there's also a sort of openness in it when you're creating as a group," he said.
The band formed in 2007 in Flagstaff, Ariz., eventually relocating to San Diego in 2012, where they picked up Walsh-Haines.
"We've toured quite a bit in the Southwest ... and since (2012), we've been touring on a bit more of a national level," Walsh-Haines said. "We were all mutual friends from the music scene in Arizona ... (and) we're very like-minded in terms of our ambition and in our musical taste."
Rock is the band's primary focus, but Walsh-Haines said Brothers Gow also mixes in reggae and jazz influences. And they love mash-ups, such as the one above that mixed up several top hits from 1975, including David Bowie's "Fame" and KC and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight."
"This whole experience, we're learning a lot on our own as we go," he said.
But how about the band's name? Only keyboardist Alex Gow Bastine even has "Gow" in his name.
Turns out, it started as part of a scam to get an underage member into a bar back in Flagstaff. Bastine passed his ID back to the youngster, who worried that he didn't share the same name. "Just tell them we're the Brothers Gow," Bastine said — and it stuck.