The Sprague Brothers

  Thursday, 10 May 2007 - courtesy:

The music of the Sprague Brothers travels back to a simpler, less-complicated world, when the most important things were girls, cars and having fun! It's also a time in which the music scene was less constricted as well, where the lines between rock 'n' roll, pop, rhythm & blues and surf music intertwined, creating sounds that made for exciting listening and dancing.

Over the last decade, a similar free-wheeling musical atmosphere has existed on the West Coast, fueled primarily by the roots-rock sound of rockabilly, honky-tonk and swing, and exemplified by High Tone's Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, Deke Dickerson and the Eco-fonics and Johnny Dilks and His Visitacion Valley Boys. Now, you can add The Sprague Brothers to the list of the artists taking the roots of American music and creating a unique, vibrant sound.

The brothers are Frank (the elder Sprague) on vocals and guitar, and Chris (the younger Sprague) on vocals and drums. Music has been a big part of the boys lives since their early years, with each having started playing guitar and drums, respectively, at age five. Their father was a trumpet player, who instilled in them a love of music as they grew up in their dual home bases of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Anaheim, California. In their late teens, the brothers took out on the road, touring from Texas west to California in the late 1980's. Their talent and enthusiasm soon won them such fans as Dan Aykroyd, who saw them on an L.A. TV show in 1993 and cast them as guitar-playing brother cops for a TV pilot which also starred future "Nanny," Fran Drescher.

While rooted in the rockabilly of Billy Holly (they are distant relatives) and the harmonies of The Everly Brothers, on their debut CD, Let The Chicks Fall Where They May, The Sprague Brothers explore those styles as well as British invasion pop-rock, Texas rock (e.g. The Bobby Fuller Four), surf instrumentals and more. One of the album's highlights is "Battle of the Bands," a tribute to other Southern California retro-rock bands that the Spragues have been performing with over the last two years. When The Sprague Brothers performed the song in 1997 as the opening act for the Cherry Poppin' Daddies in New Orleans, legend has it that the Daddies were inspired to write "Zoot Suit Riot."

Fans of Deke Dickerson will recognize Chris Sprague as the man who's occupied the drummer's seat in the Eco-Fonics for the past six months. Deke returns the favor on the new CD, playing bass and guitar on several cuts; likewise, other guests include Randy Fuller (of The Bobby Fuller Four) on bass; Los Straitjacket Eddie Angel on guitar and Jeremy Wakefield of The Lucky Stars (and Biller & Wakefield fame) on pedal steel guitar.

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