Band members bicker. They are co-workers, and if co-workers aren’t bickering, they’re likely not being productive. Band members that are siblings also bicker, and music journalists like nothing better than writing an article chock-full of dirty laundry. Noel Gallagher kicking the snot out of Liam Gallagher at an Oasis rehearsal, or The Black Crowes show that ended with Rich Robinson taking a swing at his brother, Chris: ingredients for great articles that aid in the selling of records for overrated bands.
You know what makes a better band? Harmony, getting along, and making music without pockets full of ego and family angst.
The sibling battles in local band Elder Grown are non-existent. Perhaps brothers Josh, John, and Paul Hoffman got their fighting over and done with at a young age, and, in doing so, have maintained solid relationships with each other and the other band members.
Rounded out by Sam Kelly and Brandon Clark, Elder Grown will bring their brand of funk, rock, hip-hop and jam to the Animas City Theatre Friday (June 30) . Opening the show will be Earth Like Twins out of Fort Collins, featuring members of Euforquestra.
The shared blood between three members, as observed by the band members that don’t have the name Hoffman, is an asset.
“It’s what holds us together a little bit more,” said saxophone player Kelly. “I see a lot of other bands that don’t have brothers that fight a little bit more. But we have this cohesion that I think comes from years and years of these guys living together.”
They’re a busy DIY band with limitless ideas. They recently released a single with an accompanying video, and Friday’s show will also feature a string quartet on a handful of songs, the parts arranged by Fort Lewis College music department alum Kelly.
They’ve also built a studio inside Elder Grown headquarters, a house on the Southside of Durango where most band members live, and where they all practice. It’s been ground zero for the record they’ve been working, with an unknown but anticipated release date. This all comes from a band teaching themselves the tricks of the studio while they navigate recording a record and staying alive in the music business.
“There was a little bit of a learning curve,” said John Hoffman. “We’re getting some amazing products out of it, and we’re close. We’re right there just trying to figure out the right time to release it.”
With numerous vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, they’re an upbeat group of friends and family that make a solid band, dudes reared on jam-rock, hip-hop, and funk who have weaved those and other genres into a jam-rock package. Shows at the ACT are always at or near capacity, thanks to a network that comes out and support what they do. Their summer schedule includes shows around the state and a slot in Denver’s “Underground Music Festival,” a multi-day event featuring up-and-comers. That house on the Southside also has a brand new, white touring van ready to cart them from show to show.
“What’s cool is we have this upward trajectory,” said Kelly. “We keep climbing up and up.”
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. email@example.com.