Adam and David Moss are identical twins. But don’t talk to them about that, they’ve heard all the twin jokes and comments and they’re sick of it. Though since they commented in jest about the Rochester weather, a subject us locals have heard every angle on, they’ll have to forgive us for dabbling in some twin talk here.
The brothers Moss make up the folk duo under the clever moniker The Brother Brothers. They were in town last week at the Arbor Loft as the latest artist brought in by Honest Folk. The two played a two-set, two-hour show that turned out to be both a night of folk songs and a bit of comedy too.
The show was filled with characters, like the “Ocean’s Daughter,” the “Notary Public,” “The Gambler,” “Mary Ann,” and “Frankie,” as well as places like their hometown “Cairo, IL,” “Colorado,” and Peter Rowan’s “Angel Island.” Person, place or thing, it all came to life through Adam and David’s impossibly perfect harmonies. It was almost as if they were harmonizing as one person, no studio trickery required. Add in some exquisite playing on guitar, fiddle and cello and The Brother Brothers present a uniquely tight nugget of acoustic music mastery. The setlist drew from their debut EP (2017’s Tugboats) and LP (2018’s Some People I Know), and also included a few brand new tunes that should see a release some time next year.
The inter-song banter was almost as entertaining as their playing and song craft. Playing off each other, and at times the crowd, some seemed more rehearsed while most were clearly off the cuff. Subjects ran the gamut from global warming, flat eartherism, the dearth of good Hanukah music, and running sound at concerts.
For the encore, the pair came back for their brotherly take on Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” that was the perfect capstone to a lovely evening.
Upon hearing the announcement of the next Honest Folk show, the brothers seemed outright jealous of Rochester’s opportunity to see JUNO award winner William Prince, a folk singer from Winnipeg. He’ll be taking the stage January 13 at Good Luck. Tickets are on sale now. Also just announced is the great Joe Pug who will be at Good Luck on February 17.