It’s always fascinating to see musical talent passed down from generation to generation. For Jamie and Hunter Eggleston of Wilmington’s Brothers Egg, the intrinsic musical heritage of their family has inspired them to pursue a future in music. They’re bringing their tunes to the stage this Friday, April 17, at Bourgie Nights with their very first album-release show.
Combining elements of Americana, folk and old-time music, Raleigh natives Jamie (guitar, banjo, drums, piano, vocals) and Hunter (mandolin, guitar, drums, vocals) founded the band in 2014. The two brothers didn’t have an unusual childhood, just a musically inspired one. Their father, Dave Eggleston, began playing drums professionally in the early ‘80s in a successful touring bar band called “The Good Humor Band.” As a natural consequence, Hunter and Jamie were drawn to percussion and claimed their father never sat down with them to teach music; it just happened organically.
“Some of my earliest memories are with him playing,” Jamie says. “Eventually, he’d let me sit in on some of the songs. People loved it because who doesn’t love seeing an 8-year-old play rock ‘n’ roll?”
During high school, Jamie played in various bands as a drummer, while Hunter found a love for bluegrass during his senior year. “My dad encouraged him to play the guitar first,” Jamie says. “He learned three chords and played in the high-school talent show. Mandolin came soon after.”
As for Jamie, the compositional limitations of drums inspired him to broaden his musical horizons. “It drove me crazy being in bands,” he recounts. “I would hear an idea, but nobody would listen to me because I was a drummer. So I began learning piano and then guitar.”
In the fall of 2009, Jamie made the move to the NC coast to attend UNCW; Hunter followed suit in 2013. Since being in Wilmington, Jamie has played with local rock outfit The Scoundrels Reunion, as part of the rhythm section. However, music wasn’t the only dream the Egglestons were pursuing. They also wanted to tackle the Appalachian Trail. In March 2014, Hunter set foot on the journey in Georgia and ended in Maine. Jamie accompanied him for a stint of the trip in NC. The brothers attribute much of their influence for their upcoming EP, “Bleeding Slow,” to their experiences on the trail.
“Seeing the small Appalachian towns with nothing but a backpack on made you feel what those old-time players were feeling when they wrote those haunting songs,” Jamie remarks. “Beforehand, we were both interested in roots music, but after hiking the trail, it blossomed full force.”
With their minds full of newfound inspiration, the two began playing more frequently in Wilmington, which is where they met violinist Suzanna Crist (fiddle, vocals). “Hunter and I were writing songs and went to play an open-mic night at Grinders [Caffé off Wrightsville Avenue],” Jamie says. “Suzanna played right before us and impressed us so much that we asked her to play during our set.”
Afterward, Suzanna became a permanent member of Brothers Egg.
Prior to Hunter’s departure along the Appalachian Trail, he and Jamie signed up for an EP competition with Hourglass Studios. Coming in third place, they were granted discount recording times. With Suzanna among the ranks, the three recorded “Bleeding Slow,” and even asked their father to sit in on drums (with the exception of “Dance with Me,” which features Hunter behind the kit). Various friends made contributions on bass, too. Currently, only three tracks are available online (www.brothersegg.com): “Dreamer,” “Dance With Me” and “After All.” “Dreamer” kicks off with a mild tempo and Jamie’s soft vocals. The rhythm guitar layers the overall sound with a push-and-pull behind the melody. Crist’s fiddle harmonies throughout the song add a perfect lilt. When Jamie concludes the verses, the entire band rushes in to create a subtle blast of energy. The drums lead with the song as it fades out and absorbs the listener in its placid atmosphere.
“Dance With Me” is a live recording that strikes similarities to Ray Lamontagne. Jamie’s lyrics compel with relatability: “Oh come on and love me like you wanna’,” he sings. “Stop thinking so damn much and dance with me.”
The song dives into a stomping bluegrass tempo with Crist playing a powerful overarching fiddle lead that draws the tune to a close.
“Bleeding Slow” is another track that demonstrates lyrical and musical prowess. “The song was written about a long-term relationship,” Jamie says. “We both knew it was coming to an end, so [it] was like a slow burn—if that makes any sense.”
As far as future plans are concerned, Brothers Egg are in this for the long run. “We want to make a living out of it,” Jamie tells. “We want to take it as far as possible.”
The trio has been writing to expand their scope as a band. Their Friday show will welcome their father on drums and friend Sam Candio on bass duties. Jesse Stockton and Moonlight Co. will open.
Brother’s Egg Release Party
Openers: Jesse Stockton and Moonlight Co.
Bourgie Nights, 127 Princess St.
Friday, April 17, 8:30 p.m.