NEXT SHOW - TUESDAY SEP. 11TH & FRIDAY SEP. 14TH
Debut EP Release- IN ARMS
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THE BILSBY BROTHERS BIO
On a hot and hazy summer night in August of 2017, Mr. Caleb Sturgis BiIsby passed away at the ripe old age of 93. He was surrounded by his wife and 4 sons as he said his last words, and it was in those last few sentences that something truly special started to materialize. This man had meant so much to the brothers, for they had each been mentored by him at the times they seemed to need it the most. Time and obligations had split the family apart over the years, all four brothers in different parts of the country for a while, seeking out their own individual truths. As they each came home one by one to help set the family's affairs in order, and give help to their ailing "Mama" (as they affectionately call her) the healing began. Old wounds started to close up over many nights at home under that big, clear Oregon sky. They were always a musical family, that's how they were raised, and that's what they returned to. With a recent January 2018 move to the Asbury Park, NJ area they are here to show the East Coast what a bunch of "nice" Oregon boys can do with their instruments.
Popeye Bilsby is the eldest and dearest of the Bilsby clan."The Reverend" Popeye has amassed more than 30 years behind a kit since purchasing his first at the age of 23. A self taught 'prince of the pocket', Popeye draws his initial inspiration after being captivated by none other than Ringo Star of The Beatles, on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. At the tender age of 5, that performance became the seminal moment that would define decades of learning and perfecting his favorite records across a number of musical styles. But don't let his age fool you into thinking he's slow with the sticks. Popeye has worn many hats over the years, none more colorful than as a barnstorming, bellowing, bible-belt preacher. Wearing a screaming pink blazer, polka-dot bow tie and snakeskin shoes, he cris-crossed the south preaching the good word as he alleviated sinners of their good dollars. A crisis of faith and a woman named Sue helped turn his attention back to music, where he belonged" In recent years, he's traveled the globe performing shows on behalf of a number of charities as part of a multinational group of likeminded musicians - battling against other musical acts from everywhere from Tokyo, Japan to Vienna, Austria and - most recently - as far away as Sydney, Australia. But Popeye's travels have only helped to strengthen his need to return back to his roots, as he and Bilsby Brothers reunite for their official debut.
Cat was born in 1965 in the back of a driving van 20 miles away from what would become a few years later, the site of Woodstock in Bethel NY. Momma Bilsby started calling him Cat at age three, because he loves cats and kept a whole bunch of kittens he found right around the back of the horse barn. Hip long before it was fashionable, Momma said Cat was born with a guitar in his right hand and a Pabst Blue Ribbon in his left. He started playing guitar at age five, but Momma made him switch to bass at seven. She never gave a reason why but he was always Momma's favorite. Although Cat was expelled from three different high schools,he eventually recieved a B.A. from the University of Rotterdam. He majored in Extinct Cultures with a minor in Mesoamerican crayon art. He toured Europe several times with the band, Small Rodents From Mars before getting back together with the Bilsby Brothers. Cat's motto is Rock on.
Chia Bilsby had the brains of the family is what most say. Chia is the third of four boys that Momma Bilsby birthed in three decades, 50's thru 70's. When Chia borrowed Popeye's Ampex cassette player when he was five and played "Strawberry Fields Forever", he was blown away by what he heard. His life was changed forever. At age 13, Chia picked up the drum sticks and banged away on the drum set, big bro, Popeye left in the garage. When Chia left for college out East and started playing in the College Park, MD/Washington, DC area that's when Chia realized his musician ear. It was his then bandmates, Kind on Tuesday, that he told to try playing a song a bit different. "Shut up and keep the beat. You're the drummer", was shouted at him. Chia then mostly out of frustration taught himself how to play the piano, keyboard and organ (purchasing his favorite one, Fender Rhodes, in 1992!). In his twenties he toured with several bands and opened for Lou Reed, Jellyfish, The Rembrandts, Johnny Winter, Mountain, Matthew Sweet, Steel Train, and many others. He took his musical legacy and went to NYC to make his fortune. Smart in business during the day, piano man at a dueling piano bar by night. Knows the theater scene. Knows the jazz guys. Very connected. Chia and his wife settled down in the Central NJ area and Chia has been raising two kids, playing in his studio, and investing in cryptocurrencies. Last year started the reunion of the brothers jamming together and then deciding it's time to be a family band. March 2018 is their official debut with their EP, IN ARMS.
"I've been on the trail of the man they call "Smoke" Bilsby for a long time now. Talked to folks in Seattle, heard them tell tall tales of an uprising, a revolution, with Smoke banging the drum only to be crushed by the man and his invisible forces. The trail gets hazy at this point, a bunch of trips crisscrossing the country. Old girlfriends in San Francisco, Flagler county, Florida, Port Reading, Washington. My best guess now is that the call from family was too strong. I'd like to imagine him now, a little more gray in his beard, realizing his familial legacy, and coming back round the mountains, home to the brothers Bilsby".
© 2018 by The Bilsby Brothers