Friday, April 19, 2013

A Grand Concert

Brody & The Busch Rd Trio

Invades Fischer Hall

Mach Schau


Eric ‘Brody’ Braeutigan vocals, rhythm guitar

Derek Burk, lead guitar

Josh Rodhammer, bass guitar

Cody Little, drums

Brody is the alter ego of Eric Braeutigan, the erstwhile leader of the band. Though the Busch Rd Trio are relative newcomers to the mid-Michigan scene, they gained a sizeable following in a very short time. The band formed in the summer of 2009 and released We Are Just Visiting in 2012. It was their first full length LP and it signaled a remarkable period of growth in musicianship and overall craft. It was an inspired and triumphant body of music that marked their ascendance as one of the best bands in Great Lakes Bay Region. As their reputation grew, the band continued to hone their skills and experiment with sound to create new musical territories. Not content to rest on their laurels, the band upgraded their equipment, buying different amps, effects pedals and Bare Knuckle Pickups. Brody purchased a Fender American Telecaster. They are experimenting with bass tones, acoustic and electric and using flatwound bass strings to get better tones. The drums anchor the rhythm section with a tight and consistent groove. Cody is the band’s secret weapon. As the music evolved, their confidence grew and they began to fashion more complicated music that took them outside their comfort zone to a whole new vista of experimentation.

The band’s influences sneak into their compositions from crazy shit Radiohead musings to Dylan word play and Nirvana nineties alternative rock. They listen to great new artists like the Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr. as well as the ancient blues and soul of Wilson Pickett and Ray Charles. It’s an impressive melting pot of influences, an intoxicating brew of rhythm, sound and fury.

The band continues to record new songs with Andy Reed at Reed Recording Company. Braeutigan says that sessions are different this time around as they experiment in the studio instead of bringing in complete road tested songs. It allows creativity to exert itself in the studio and allow songs to emerge like taking a hammer to the anvil and fashioning something entirely different from the original spark of an idea. There are several songs in the can at various stages of completion and I was able to get my trembling mitts on several of the songs. It was like the first time I bought a Beatles bootleg and waited with bated breath until I heard those excavated treasures buried within the grooves. The songs are as diverse as they are familiar. The band has come up with a formula ripped it apart and reconfigured it to allow a whole new sound to emerge. Listen to the Band…

Coming To Fruition has a Nirvana-like vibe, quiet and loud with synth splashes, tempo changes and a great backbeat. Braeutigan sounds like a cross between Caleb Followill singing Use Somebody and Rob Thomas doing Unwell. Great stuff! God’s Country Revisited is a stream of consciousness expose of the American zeitgeist. It’s a song from the road, a highway blues that is accompanied with some fierce acoustic patterns and pounding drums with some cool fat tones from Burks’ lead guitar. Needs is a funky little number about carnal desires, hot loins and sweaty athleticism between lovers that own the night.  The guitar playing is sweet and tight. Burk is capable of great harmonics and Braeutigan is squeezing the lemon with all he’s got. Sing For My Supper is a slowed down minor chord exploration of the chasm between craft and popular acclaim. The singer may have to sing with a smile in his voice even if he’s doing Midnight Hour for the umpteenth time.


The show at the historic Fischer Theatre marks the occasion of Eric Braeutigan’s 30th birthday. It is the perfect venue for these Frankenmuth born and bred musicians.  Theodore Fischer built Fischer Hall in 1894 with a vision of a wholesome place where “guests and entertainers could perform in Frankenmuth and where residents of the city could meet.” Fischer was a Freemason of Lodge#258 and painted a slogan in the arch over the Fischer Hall stage, It read “Einegkeit macht Stark” (togetherness makes strength). The hall was immediately popular and became the place to go for weddings, meetings, funerals and graduation parties. It became the meeting place for the Gray Fox Club, a popular men’s club that sponsored dances, raffles, kinos, raffles and parties from 1889 until 1956. In 1950 the Zehnder family purchased the Fischer Hotel and Hall. The hall was reduced to a homely warehouse for the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. But in 1973, the Bavarian Inn began renovating the theatre and opened a summer theater show called the Gaslight Revue. It was wildly popular. In October 1986 the Frankenmuth Historical association moved Fischer Hall from its location behind the Bavarian Inn to its present location on Main Street. In June 1987 the renovations were completed and the Gaslight Revue entertained visitors from all over America during the summer months. The Fischer Hall has returned to its historical importance as a gathering place for Frankenmuth residents, thousands of satisfied tourists as well as members of the surrounding communities in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan. It is a lustrous reminder of a bygone era that was bawdy and boisterous as well as respectful and good natured.

 Brody & the Busch Rd Trio is part of the young musical tribes that are helping to resurrect interest in original music and to restore the Fischer Hall to its former glory as the #1 place in mid-Michigan where entertainers welcome the public and celebrate life through music, poetry and dance.

The show is on Friday April 5th @ Fischer Hall at 613 S. Main Street in Frankenmuth. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $20. The ticket price includes all you can drink, a menu of a variety of beer from Sullivan’s Black Forest. The lineup also includes Hell Toupee and American Underdog featuring Andy Reed.

“Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink anymore”

- Pablo Picasso


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