Brother Trucker plays Mill today

BY REBECCA KOONS | MAY 06, 2009 7:26 AM

Deep roots

Many people probably don’t keep in close contact with their elementary-school friends. Brother Trucker’s Andy Fleming (vocals/guitar) is an exception. It could be said that Brother Trucker began when he and bandmate Mike Fitzpatrick (lead guitar) met in second grade. As Fleming put it, “We said we were a band before we could play instruments.”

The rock/roots quintet that became known as Brother Trucker during Fleming and Fitzpatrick’s college days also boasts bassist Lyle Kevin Hogue, drummer Jim Viner, and keyboardist Matt Jesson. Brother Trucker will perform at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St. today at 9 p.m. The evening’s festivities celebrate the release of the band’s latest studio album The Flyover. Iowa City native Dave Zollo, who produced the album, will accompany the band tonight.

While the band’s musical influences vary from originators such as Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry to rock legends including the Rolling Stones and the Replacements, Fleming said each Brother Trucker member “comes from a similar place musically.” These bands, as different as they are, have one thing in common for Fleming and the other members of Brother Trucker: They “create a sound that is uniquely theirs by the sum of their parts,” Fleming said.

Since 1997, Brother Trucker has regularly performed in Iowa City. Over the years, the band’s connection to the city has grown considerably, both professionally and creatively. Each of Brother Trucker’s records is produced by and features the talent of local songwriters and musicians.
“We have some of our dearest friends in Iowa City so it’s always a favorite of the whole band,” Fleming said.

Brother Trucker remains driven and determined to keep progressing, while maintaining a strong relationship with supporters who have been there all along. Likewise, the band’s goals don’t focus on fame and glory.

“[We want] to be recognized among the many great Iowa artists that have influenced and encouraged us — the next song, the next gig,” Fleming said. “The biggest goal is always to do our music as well as it can be presented.”

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