Auburn’s Summer of ‘18 band branching out

Brotherly Mud seemingly omnipresent on local scene
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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For a few all-too-brief months, Brotherly Mud did double duty as Auburn’s answer to Will Rogers.

The Auburn-based band took a line from the classic American humorist’s quotebook about never meeting a man he didn’t like — and never met an event this summer that it couldn’t play at.

Brotherly Mud was seemingly omnipresent.

The Auburn Co-op? You bet.

Regular gigs on weekends near the fire pit at Central Square? Not a problem.

A regular residence at Pour Choice in Old Town. You can check off that box too.

When a mural was being painted in Central Square two weekends ago and a party broke out — Brotherly Mud was johnny on the spot, with a new song to perform for the occasion.

And what is Auburn’s band for the summer of 2018 doing for an encore as the summer winds down?

More performances both near and far are in the offing, said Seth Grauer, the band’s acoustic guitar player who pairs vocals with fellow songwriter Daniel Roholt.

On Friday — the last day of summer, as well as international Peace Day — Brotherly Mud will be sharing its 1970s-tinged folk-rock-indie music with Auburn Art Walk attendees at a Central Square performance in the 7 p.m. slot.

On the horizon is a chance Oct. 4 to showcase the Brotherly Mud sound at Old Ironsides, one of Sacramento’s premier music venues. It’s a key foray into the Sacramento scene for the band that has its eye on eventual national touring and hopeful success with its next album, “Jericho In Bloom.”

The four-piece band also features Gabriel Bingham on electric guitar, mandolin and vocals, and David Lee on drums.

Brotherly Mud has its roots in jam sessions starting in 2013 at Roholt’s rural Auburn-are home.

“We could be loud all night in the country,” Roholt said. “Musicians from the Auburn area would stop in there and it just grew. It was a chance to be out there and creative.”

At the jams, Roholt and Grauer discovered an uncannily similar musical outlook that led them to write songs together and then move to Los Angeles to pursue their educations further at the Musician’s Institute. That collaboration spawned an album called “Cannonball” before the duo split in different directions when Roholt moved to Portland, Oregon, and Grauer enrolled at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

When the two found themselves again back in Auburn, Brotherly Mud started in earnest this spring, using a template that many successful new bands use to establish themselves — live gigging whenever and wherever possible.

Roholt and Grauer’s songwriting bond is a strong one.

“He’s the yin to my yang,” Roholt said. “There’s a special connection. There are moments when we’re writing when we’ve been as giddy as little children. And on multiple occasions, we’ve cried our eyes out from writing.”

And on many a summer evening, Brotherly Mud has shared with Auburn a batch of songs that are homemade and heartfelt.

“If it doesn’t touch our hearts, it’s not going to out to our audience,” Roholt said.

Friday’s Auburn Art Walk’s music will also feature City of Trees at the Clock Tower in Downtown Auburn, and The Seth and Alex Project from 6-8 p.m. in Old Town Auburn.