Family harmony: Brothers band sings of the city

It’s a bro down: Identical twins David and Adam Moss, who make up the Brother Brothers band, will perform on Pier Six at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sept. 23 as part of the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

It’s a double-take on Americana!

A literal band of brothers will serenade Brooklynites with Appalachian folk–style tunes about New York City next weekend, at a free concert in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier Six on Sept. 23. Identical twins Adam and David Moss are the Brother Brothers, an acoustic band playing as part of the third annual Brooklyn Americana Music Festival, taking place at seven stages along the Brooklyn waterfront on Sept. 21–24.

The twins, who hail from Peoria, Illinois and moved to Brooklyn in 2012, are excited to honor their new home — and major sources of musical inspiration — at the festival.

“We sing songs about New York and us,” said Adam, who lives in Ditmas Park. “A lot of our songs are emotionally inspired by the city.”

The energy of the city makes it a special place for the music scene, said the other Moss.

“There is so much music going on [in Brooklyn] and so many great talents,” said David, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident. “There’s so much to hear and do and so many people to meet, so the energy is really inspiring.”

Adam plays the five-string fiddle, while David strums the cello and guitar, and the two sing all their songs in harmony, branding themselves as “twin harmonies — literally,” with a style that combines Appalachian folk and bluegrass traditions.

Some of their favorite New York-inspired tunes include “Tugboats,” a song inspired by David’s early days in the city, watching tugboats chug along the East River during the dark, early morning hours on his way home from work as a bartender.

“I would bartend at nighttime and I would ride my bike home along the unfinished Brooklyn Bridge Park at 4 am, and I would stop in the park and take a minute and absorb the fact that I live in New York City,” said David.

Another song, “Come Back, Darling,” was inspired by a classic New York night out, the kind where it’s easy to meet fellow revelers from all over the world, Adam said.

The brothers each pursued individual music careers for several years, but decided to take the plunge and harmonize as one in March of 2016.

“It was just kind of the logical conclusion,” said Adam. “We always sang harmonies together very effortlessly. It’s been obvious that we’ve needed to do it, we just had to wait until we were ready to do it. We had to know that we could go on the road and not fight.”

After their 4 pm concert, the Brother Brothers brothers will also accompany Ana Egge’s show on the same stage at 6 pm, and Adam will hop in to play with the Defibulators at 7 pm.

More than 50 bands will play the four-day festival, with free concerts happening in Brooklyn Bridge Park, at the Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge, and at various bars in Dumbo and Red Hook.

The Brothers Brothers at the Americana Music Festival (Pier Six at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Atlantic Avenue at Furman Street in Brooklyn Heights, www.bkamf.com). Sept. 23 at 4 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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