Road Heroes the Weber Brothers hit Collingwood

Like their hero Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins, the Weber Brothers, Ryan and Sam, left their U.S. home to head north in search of fortune and fame.  Except in their case the goal was to play with the ol’
Hawk himself, who was well established as Toronto’s adopted Rockabilly legend.  They passed the audition and began their own rock and roll journey.  Like the Hawk they made Ontario their home and have been rocking through Southern Ontario ever since.

As Sam told Patrick Finch in an interview for The Waterloo Record a few years back, “When we first met him, there was something inside, just a drive, like, ‘I wanna be a part of this story’. So we just did whatever he said. We still pretty much do whatever he says. We’ve been so many places with him, starting out living in his barn when I was 18 years old and then, just a couple of months ago, we’re backstage hanging out with Lemmy from Motorhead, talking about how great Ronnie is! These experiences are just incredible. And it’s changed us in many ways. Especially about how hard you have to work, if you wanna get good. And that’s his most important rule.”

After eleven albums, dozens of tours throughout Canada, the United States and Europe the Weber brothers have honed their chops and learned how to connect with an audience.  They were a decade into the endless road trip when it seemed to suddenly come together for them  As Ryan told Patrick Finch in that same 2013 interview, “It’s a celebration when we’re playing now; it’s more of an event than just four guys playing. I guess it’s just (a result of our) dedication for all these years… over 10 years now we’ve been doing this. We had a sort of breakthrough about 6 months ago – in Peterborough at The Red Dog, where we’ve played so many times. Something just clicked more than it ever had. Since then it’s just continued, certainly in the feel of how we’re playing and in the sounds that we produce.”

Their never-say-die determination to make it as a rock band has inspired independent filmmaker Rob Viscardis to create a full-length Weber Brothers biopic.  Entitled “Before We Arrive”, it follows their up-and-down journey with archival footage dating back to their beginnings, and interviews with the brothers, their band, and a selection of musical peers to create an inspiring portrait of artists who are only in it for the music.  The film was selected to be included in the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

Now they are touring to support their latest album “Patches”, which is available not only as a CD but on vinyl and cassette.  Their show at The Harbour Street Fish Bar on Friday is a release party for the album.

“If I had The Weber Brothers with me in 1952,” said Ronnie Hawkins, “Elvis would’ve been my roadie.”

Showtime is 8 pm Friday, Dec. 1st.  Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

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