The Brothers Blue
Charlie Coughlin – fiddle, mandolin Benny Haravitch – banjo, bass, guitar Matthew Sperber – guitar, bass
Rooted in the fertile tradition of Old-Time fiddle music, The Brothers Blue grow a sound all their own – offering a hybrid which unites fresh, original song-writing with elements from Country, Bluegrass, Cajun, and Irish musics. They weave three part harmonies through a rich tapestry of fiddle, banjo, and guitar. The band of multi-instrumentalists entertained audiences at both the Grey Fox (2017) and Turtle Hill (2015) festivals where they were featured as Emerging Artists. Their tight huddle around a single microphone and groove-oriented arrangements prompted one fan to describe them as a “one-mind band” and another as “a dancer's dream.” Whether around a campfire or in a concert hall, the band is excited for any opportunity to share honest, heartfelt musical experiences with their ever-growing family of friends: The Brethren Blue.
In 2016, the trio released their debut album, Ghost Town. It was hailed as “a well-honed, fine-tuned record that expertly cuts a piece out of the bluegrass lexicon” by Rochester CITY Newspaper. They followed up with a collection of their favorite traditional tunes and old songs, Big Eyed Rabbit, in 2017. The Buffalo Public wrote that “their approach to the songs … will likely inspire listeners to dig deeper into the folk roots of the music.”
As teenagers, Benny Haravitch and Matthew Sperber began learning songs together on an acoustic guitar they brought on bicycle trips throughout the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier. Growing up together in Honeoye, NY, the boys came to appreciate playing music early on. Benny's next door neighbor fronted the Rochester-based jugband, The Wilderness Family, and his mother played the spoons for a local contradance band. Now, as an award-winning banjo player, Benny makes his living teaching, recording, and playing music, and also as a geologist. Matthew made his way to Buffalo, NY where he immersed himself in studying a wide variety of musical styles, earning a Masters degree in classical guitar performance in 2010. He developed a career in music and today he teaches over 40 students a week on the guitar and bass and keeps a busy performance schedule as a classical guitarist. His involvement with the traditional Irish band, Crikwater, introduced him to a talented young fiddler, Charlie Coughlin in 2013. Charlie grew up in the cultural neighborhood of South Buffalo and began studying Irish fiddle at eleven years old. Today he makes his living by playing the fiddle and with wood-working.