Don Chaffer is a pretty recognizable name in certain circles of the music industry. Whether it’s his solo projects, his years with Waterdeep, or his new project The Khrusty Brothers, the guy deserves the attention he gets.
The first time I heard of The Khrusty Brothers, I thought, “Who the heck would name their new band that?!” It’s a weird name. Relax, the music is weird too, so it fits.
With that, the first time I heard their self-titled album, I didn’t like it. It was weird, but not quite weird enough; normal, but not quite normal enough. It felt stuck somewhere between really weird, trippy, cool alt-folk… and more normal, well-written, expertly-played classic folk.
So it took me a few listens, but now I’m into it. From a musical standpoint, it’s weird, but not too weird, and the musicians are all obviously very good. From a lyrical standpoint, the songs are very well-written and interesting.
What makes it really cool is that it’s not your standard band. It’s a concept band based around a story, a story which Don hopes to turn into an off-Broadway musical one day. According to The Pitch:
The indie-rock concept piece tells the fictional tale of an Appalachian family band carrying forth the legacy of its deceased, opium-addicted father (who kills himself at the end of Act I).
“In his will, he wants his casket driven around on tour and incorporated into the show,” explains Don Chaffer, the story’s author. “The only one who wants to do it is Khorky Custer Khrusty, who stashes his body in the van before they hit the road.”
According to guitarist Ian Davidson, when the group performs, “we don’t get up and tell the story. We just live in the story.”
On their MySpace, members of the band are listed as Danderhauler Agamemnon Khrusty on guitar and vocals, Bud Gilgamesh Khrusty on drums and “death metal vocals,” Khorky Custer Khrusty on wurlitzer, synth, guitar and vocals, Hamilton Motherbrain Huffelheimer on bass and vocals, Houdini Harris Huffelheimer on drums, loops and vocals, Hinus King Gustav Huffelheimer on guitar, steel guitar and vocals, and Jonas Wilberforce Khrusty (ex officio).
Real band members are Don Chaffer, Brandon Graves, Jeff Harshbarger, Billy Brimblecom, Ian Davidson, and a synth player I can’t find a name for.
Hope you enjoy these two songs:
Note: All MP3s will be removed after one week