Brother Elsey talk weekend shows, Detroit & brotherhood

Band of brothers discuss creative process ahead of two Kingston concerts

The Brother Elsey will be in Kingston at the Merchant Tap House on Friday, January 18.
Credit: 
Supplied by Brother Elsey

Michigan’s Brother Elsey owe their success to two things: Detroit and a fraternal bond.

Coming to Kingston this weekend, the soft rock band is playing at The Toucan on Friday and The Merchant Tap House on Saturday.

Since they were eight, twins Brady, Beau and their older brother Jack Stablein—who debuted at age 12—have been writing their own songs and making music together.

But within the past two years, they’ve changed a key part of the act—their name. Once Fifth and Main, Brother Elsey is now named after their grandfather.

“We wanted to pay respect to that side of the family because my grandfather is the one who got us into music,” Brady Stablein told The Journal. “He was in a country band for a long time and we grew up around him playing.”

Making the decision to change their name felt like a necessary step in the band’s musical pursuits.

“Every time I said Fifth and Main to somebody, I felt like that 12-year-old kid again,” Brady said. “We want to do this forever and felt like we needed something we could be really happy with.”

From their earliest memories to their senior year in high school, music has been a prevalent aspect of their lives. In high school, they learned their musical skills on choir teams, pushing them to work harder and learn their creative craft. 

Their love of music overshadowed their love of football, despite their talent and opportunities to play college football, the brothers knew music was the only road for them.

Jack Stablein briefly went to Wayne State University but, after one year, found it wasn’t right for him. He only wanted to play songs with his brothers. He returned to live with his brothers to pursue their shared dream of playing their songs in front of thousands.

Since making this decision, they’ve opened for bands like Lord Huron and The Glorious Sons, taking notes and learning from the headliners.

“The Glorious Sons, we’ve played with them a few times and I think their energy on stage is the best show I’ve seen from anybody,” Brady told The Journal. “That’s one thing we’ve really learned from them, is how to go crazy and not give a shit about what people think. Just play music and have a great time.”

Brother Elsey know that their focus has to be on making sincere music and enjoying the journey. They can’t waste any time if they want to succeed. That’s where their brotherly bond is an asset.

“If there’s an issue, I don’t have to hold back my emotions, I can say what I want to say and not feel too bad about it because I know we’ll be done fighting in five minutes,” Brady said.  

The brotherly bond allows for real, honest communication—as much an asset in songwriting as a sense of rhythm. Aiming to create music that connects people through shared experiences and honesty, they have to make music using the same virtues.  

“We try to write songs that a lot of people can relate to,” Brady said. “Our music is honest. It’s not something surface-level, it’s going deeper to the human spirit.”

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