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Sound Stage

Brother Trucker

12/12/2012

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Andy Fleming of Brother Tucker

If we ever decide to put together a time capsule that captures the true essence of Des Moines — something that will stand through the years as a declaration of, “Here, world: Here’s the best of us,”— you can bet there will be a Brother Trucker CD in there. Nobody wants to be so maudlin as to fall back on tired phrases like “music royalty,” but the fact is, you’re going to be hard pressed to find anyone in this town who’s better liked or more respected than Brother Trucker front man Andrew Fleming. Talented, humble and passionate, Fleming is a musician’s musician. And playing El Bait Shop on the first Wednesday of the month — as they have all year and will continue to do so for as long as there is a just God — Brother Trucker is a house band’s house band. There’s really not a better natural paring than this bar and this group. Lacking a true stage, the band is nose-to-nose with a packed house of fans, and the roots-rock five-piece plays to its crowd with an energetic mix of original music and well-crafted covers, paying homage not only to global legends like the Rolling Stones, but to masters like Bo Ramsey, which hail from our own back yard. Lead guitarist Mike Fitzpatrick, bassist Lyle Hogue and Matt Jesson on the keys all help shape Brother Trucker into maybe the best throwback rock experiences in the state. And not only is Jim Viner one of the best drummers around, but on this night he turned in the performance of the evening when he came out from behind the kit and channeled his inner Lou Reed for the best (only?) spoken-word rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” I’ve ever heard. CV

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