The Barmitzvah Brothers

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The Barmitzvah Brothers
Origin Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Genres Indie pop
Years active 2000 (2000)–present
Labels Weewerk
Website thebarmitzvahbrothers.com
Members Jenny Mitchell
Geordie Gordon
Johnny Merritt
Tristan O’Malley
Past members Sylvie Smith
Caitlin Hurst
Gillian Manford

The Barmitzvah Brothers are a Canadian indie pop band from Guelph. Known for their use of unusual instruments, the group has a distinct sound that has generated buzz in the Canadian music scene. The Barmitzvah Brothers’ upbeat music features everything from the fiddle to homemade instruments. Like the group, the song lyrics are quirky and original; focusing on everyday life, the working world and ordinary people.[1] The band’s sound seems to transcend many genres and varies from record to record, and song to song. Band member John Merritt explains the band's style by saying “We have phases. We started with an electronic-polka phase, then we had a rock phase and a bluegrass phase. I’m not sure what phase we’re in now, but each has a unique sound”.[2]

History[edit]

The band was formed in April 2000 [3] and originally consisted of three members.[4] Jenny Mitchell, Gillian Manford and Geordie Gordon, son of Canadian singer-songwriter James Gordon, started the band to compete in a school talent show.[5] The group was dubbed the Barmitzvah Brothers after a friend commented that their music was reminiscent of a Jewish celebration. The band began playing in all kinds of venues; including basements, local events, festivals and bars. Johnny Merritt joined a year later. They soon gained local credibility and began to expand outside of Guelph becoming popular throughout Ontario and having since toured Canada and Europe.[6] Since their inception the band has grabbed the attention and praise of audiences and media alike. The group has even been featured on several television programs, including YTV’s “To The Max”.[7]

The Barmitzvah Brothers have collaborated with a number of other musicians; Sylvie Smith and Tristan O’Malley were frequent additions with O’Malley since becoming the fourth full-time member of the band.[8]

The Barmitzvah Brothers released their first official record, “The Night of the Party” in 2001; the record was self-released.[9] They soon signed with local record label Robosapien.[10] The band has released albums almost annually and are currently on the Weewerk label.[11]

Members[edit]

Contrary to their name, The Barmitzvah Brothers are not composed of Jewish relatives, nor are they strictly male.[12][13] The band has four full-time members: Jenny Mitchell, John Merritt, Geordie Gordon and Tristian O’Malley.[14] They are also occasionally joined by part-time member Sylvie Smith.[15] Jenny is primarily vocals, bass and omnichord.[16] She is also responsible for the group’s witty lyrics.[17] Geordie is also a singer, as well as playing violin and keyboard. John acts as the groups rhythm section, provide drums and other percussion. He also experiments on the keyboard.[18] Tristain is the guitar player. Prior to his joining the band, no songs featured guitar.[19] In addition to these roles, each band member plays a wide variety of other instruments. Who plays what varies from one song to the next. It is this innovative use of multiple instruments that gives the Barmitzvah Brothers their unique, signature sound. Aside from the band, each member still holds other jobs. It is this lifestyle that provided inspiration for their latest album “"Let's Express Our Motives: An Album of Under-Appreciated Job Songs". In addition to their work with the Barmitzvah Brothers Geordie and Jenny both have solo side-projects.[20]

Band Relations[edit]

In addition to their work in The Barmitzvah Brothers, each of the band members take part in a variety of other musical endeavors. Jenny Mitchell performs on her own as Jenny Omnichord, is a member of The Burning Hell, and plays with Richard Laviolette and Oil Spills. Geordie Gordon is a member of the bands The Magic, the Salt Lick Kids, and has more recently toured with Human Highway and Islands. He also plays violin with The Burning Hell and Richard Laviolette and the Oil Spills. John Merritt has played with several Guelph bands including Brides and The Skeletones Four. Tristan O'Malley was a member of the Neutron Stars and former Barmitzvah Brother, Sylvie Smith, was a member of Habitat with John O'Regan of The D'Urbervilles and Diamond Rings. She is currently in the bands The Magic, with Geordie, and Evening Hymns.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers Official Webpage". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  2. ^ "No holds barred: The Barmitzvah Brothers rock out of their town". The McGill Daily. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  3. ^ "The Barmitzah Brothers". Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  4. ^ Dick, Terence. "The Barmitzvah Brothers Are Our Future: Jenny Mitchell Gives the Lowdown on Being an Indie-Rock Minor". Broken Pencil. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ Slutsky, M. "Simcha, Guelph-style: The Barmitzvah Brothers charm and delight". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Barmitzah Brothers". Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  7. ^ "No holds barred: The Barmitzvah Brothers rock out of their town". The McGill Daily. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  8. ^ "The Barmitzah Brothers". Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  9. ^ Slutsky, M. "Simcha, Guelph-style: The Barmitzvah Brothers charm and delight". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  10. ^ "No holds barred: The Barmitzvah Brothers rock out of their town". The McGill Daily. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  11. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers Official Webpage". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  12. ^ "No holds barred: The Barmitzvah Brothers rock out of their town". The McGill Daily. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  13. ^ Slutsky, M. "Simcha, Guelph-style: The Barmitzvah Brothers charm and delight". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  14. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers: biography". Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  15. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers Official Webpage". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  16. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers: biography". Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  17. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers Official Webpage". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  18. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers: biography". Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  19. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers Official Webpage". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  20. ^ "The Barmitzvah Brothers: biography". Retrieved October 14, 2008. 

External links[edit]