I've Been Watching You
Brian was born and raised in West Duluth in a big family of musically inclined siblings and parents. Gerald Sr., his father, played guitar and sang in the church choir. His siblings all played instruments. Older sister Terri, the saxophone, brother Craig, drums and guitar, brother Jerry, trombone and guitar, and sister Kris, the trumpet and piano. It was during these early years that Brian's passion for music began to take root.
"As little kids, me and my brothers and sisters would sit at the top of the stairs (we were supposed to be in bed) and listen to my father and a few of his friends playing guitar down in the living room. They would play all this old country and rockabilly and I remember our next door neighbor, a guy named Ed, would play some lead stuff with that Duane Eddy sound and that early reverb sound and it sounded mesmerizing."
His music "career" started at an early age. he and his brother Craig played "Blowin' in the Wind", the Dylan song, when they were around eight or nine, in a tiny
Baptist church in West Duluth and got a standing ovation (don't know if it was because they were good or "cute" but the seed was planted). He played the sax in church very often during his junior and senior high school years. Brian attended the University of Wisconsin, Superior, studying classical and jazz music. It was there that he met his future band mates in what would become his first real band, "Archive". They played around the Duluth/Superior area at night while attending classes during the day. It was with this band that Brian got his first taste of recording, doing a five song demo at Dave Hill's "Inland Sea Recording", which included a cover of Springsteen's "Jungleland" a pretty big endeavor for them at that time. Brian, Scott, and Dan ended up playing together for the next twelve years in bands called "Sass" and "Hop the Train". It was in "Hop the Train" that Brian honed his playing and producing skills and also made the jump to singer/songwriter. "HTT" achieved some modest success, getting nice reviews in "Billboard", "CMJ", and a lot of local press and college/alternative radio airplay. That band was ultimately derailed by internal problems and the untimely death of drummer, Chris Newman. Chris's death deeply affected Brian and it was during this time that he really dove into his songwriting as a source of healing and coping with the loss of his best friend. He spent the next few years playing in a couple of bands doing his original music, a six piece band called "Even In Milk" and a band called "The Pain Shop" which had a house gig in Anoka for a few years. It was in this band where he met some of his current band members. John May, his drummer in "The Velvet Pancakes", and Jason Flinn, his drummer in "The Undergroove". Fast forward ten plus years and you'll find Brian currently working on three projects. His solo career, (he's wrapping up his third solo album in as many years, "Flypaper for Freaks" 2016, "Bubblegum Cigarette" 2015, and "We'll See Elvis" 2014), His band "The Velvet Pancakes" (with four CDs under their belt) in which he is the singer/songwriter, guitarist and saxophonist, and last but certainly not least he plays sax with the funk juggernaut known as "The Undergroove", an eight piece outfit of super talented musicians who are currently playing around the twin cities and western Wisconsin area and produced their debut CD "The Undergroove".