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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

The Weber Brothers Return with Choose Your Own Adventure

By Jason Schneider.

There are bands that treat rock and roll as a lifestyle, and then there are bands for which it is life. At an age when most boys are still dreaming of rock stardom, The Weber Brothers were too busy sharpening their sound to care. Four sets a night, four nights a week, the brothers honed their hard-earned sound in Maryland dive bars they were often too young to frequent.

Inspired by their intense love of Martin Scorsese’s classic concert film The Last Waltz, Ryan and Sam Weber sent off a self-recorded demo tape to Ronnie Hawkins, the mentor for generations of Canadian musicians, starting with The Band. Duly impressed by the Webers's immense raw talent, Hawkins promptly invited them to audition for his storied backing band, The Hawks.

One quick decision and one long van ride later, the brothers arrived at Hawkins’ home near Peterborough, Ontario, and after surviving the intense musical apprenticeship of his notorious “Rock and Roll Bootcamp,” they were in: Full-blooded Hawks. Twenty years and twelve self-released albums later, the Webers have spread their wings, and a reputation as the “Baddest Band in the Land” now precedes them.

They have shared the stage with The Band's Garth Hudson and Levon Helm, Leon Russell, Derek Trucks, Merle Haggard and Lynyrd Skynyrd, just to name a few, while touring extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. As studio musicians as well, the brothers have recorded on hundreds of outside projects, including work with Gordon Lightfoot, Kris Kristofferson, Ronnie Hawkins, and Willie Nelson.

Choose Your Own Adventure is The Weber Brothers's 13th full-length release, and is a reunion of sorts with Baltimore MD-based musician/producer extraordinaire Timothy Bracken, who just so happens to have ridden the same bus to elementary school as the Webers in their hometown of Westminster, MD. The trio of Ryan, Sam, and Tim has been making music together for 30 years, and with Bracken’s masterfully adept hand wielding the mixing, mastering, and production duties, Choose Your Own Adventure fires on all cylinders and leaps from the speakers, offering the listener an exciting and compelling hour-long thrill ride.

Featuring 13 new songs with all vocals and instrumentation handled by the trio, Choose Your Own Adventure gives an engaging glimpse of how Ryan, Sam, and Tim are evolving, while at the same time recalling when there were just three boys in the back seats of an elementary school bus... singing songs.


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