Band Bio: THE AMERICANA ROOTS ROCK BAND BROTHER TRUCKER’S first 3 albums were released on what was widely considered the seminal, Iowa Independent record label, Trailer Records. Based out of Iowa City, Trailer Records featured the very best of what was nationally coined as “The Iowa Sound”. Label-mates included such luminous names as the Grammy nominated Greg Brown & Bo Ramsey, blues legend Joe Price, Dave Zollo, Bejae Fleming, Peita Brown and High & Lonesome.
Brother Trucker has toured the Midwest extensively since 2000, playing festivals, bars, political rallies, coffee houses, private parties large and small and a myriad of benefits and causes. They have opened for such notable names as James McMurtry, Leon Russell, Al Green, Gurf Morlix, Greg Brown, Robert Earl Keene and the Rev. Horton Heat. In 2009, Brother Trucker scored the original music for the award winning independent film, by Rod McCall “Becoming Eduardo”.
Andy Fleming - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Mike Fitzpatrick - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Lyle Kevin Hogue - Bass
Jim Viner- Drums
Matt Jesson- Keys/Vocals
BROTHER TRUCKER, 2000: Trailer Records
REGULARS, 2001: Trailer Records
SOMETHING SIMPLE, 2003: Trailer Records
THE FLYOVER, 2009: Razor Wire Records: Independent
“The Flyover” 2009 With “The Flyover” … with both its sound and its big-rig handle, Brother Trucker most often gets compared with another Americana band, the Georgia-based Drive-By Truckers. The band's sound is appropriately and unapologetically Iowan, Fleming and Fitzpatrick said, mixing blues, country and "meat-and-potatoes rock," to use Fleming's words.
David Burk Quad City Times Go/Do Section
Brother Trucker “The Flyover” With their long-awaited fourth CD, The Flyover, Des Moines-based roots-rockers Brother Trucker finally present another heaping helping of their literate, soulful and cinematic brand of earthy, ‘pan-Americana’ music. Cranking out a heart-felt, dynamic and (as needed) proudly raggedy-assed sound that taps into the likes of Neil Young’s splintering Crazy Horse, The Faces, The Stones, myriad assorted Dylan combos, Southern rock and the heartland/populist themes of Springsteen and Mellencamp, the lads of Brother Trucker provide spot-on backdrops for the extraordinary, wrong-side-of-the-tracks tales spooled out by co-founder and resident singer/songwriter Andy Fleming.
Jim Musser/No Depression/Iowa City Press Citizen 2009
Good songwriters have an eye for detail but use nuance to tell a deeper, bigger story. Andy Fleming, singer-songwriter-guitarist for the veteran Des Moines roots-rock band Brother Trucker, is one of those writers. His band’s long-awaited fourth album, “The Flyover,” includes 12 gripping tales of the homeless, the forgotten, the loveless, the widowed, the refugee, the dysfunctional, the marginalized and the borderline criminal. Each one has an ounce of truth. Michael Swanger Des Moines Cityview 2009 Something Simple 2003 The band's music understandably is perhaps best heard in a bar, which is much like seeing a play performed in a theater. But more and more, as Fleming and the group re-create that feel within the confines of a song, a Brother Trucker disc can bring the bar to you.
John Kenyon Cedar Rapids Gazette
A stellar entry into the genre is Des Moines’ own brother trucker. Their latest record, “Something Simple” is 11 terrific blasts of Americana that can hold their own with any of the other twang that’s happening out there these days. Say the Jayhawks were in bus headed south, and the Bottle Rockets were coming up from Missouri. If the buses collided in Iowa near a studio, everybody piled in, brought in a couple bottles of whiskey, and started playing, this record may be the result.
Pointblank, Des Moines, Iowa
If their moniker conjures images of red-necks, white-line fever and Blue Ribbon beer, Brother Trucker delivers that freight with a muscular, road-friendly mix of giddy-up country-rockers, soaring, Allman Brothers-inspired jams, brooding blues and gut-wrenching roadhouse weepers. If you haven't yet caught up to Brother Trucker, "Something Simple" is a swell place to get on board; for those already in the know, rest assured that their arc continues onward and upward - hey, what new?
Press Citizen, Iowa City, Iowa
Regulars 2001 This unpretentious, easy-going CD reminded me of an album I reviewed last year by Eric Straumanis called Thunder and the Plains. This is in part because both recordings share a Bruce Springsteen-Steve Earle-Tom Petty point of view but it's also due to the fact that they're both on Trailer Records. The opening Brother Trucker track, "Bought & Sold," has a very nifty verse: "Empty cans and Winston butts lay crushed around the car/As they left for the 7-11/Two burritos and a six pack and it's back in the car/As they try to chase down 1987." This is a perfectly described moment of trying to recapture one's youth. It's also one hell of a rocker that rolled over me like a wave I had no business trying to surf.
Tony Peyser for the Santa Monica Mirror (Santa Monica, CA)
Brother Trucker's tunes chronicle the small town lives you pass while driving across Midwest's "flat horizon". A place where a bored young girl "didn't care for nothing except for wanting to leave." Where a factory worker has lost his job and "the machine that was his is on it's way down to Mexico". Where the all-night diner is "a poor man's paradise." Andy Fleming's songs find the drama and poignancy in these small town lives and the band supports him with blue collar Americana music that's sympathetic yet steely.
Fellow Iowan David Zollo produced this disc, which also contains contributions from Dave Moore and Bo Ramsey. Miles of Music Brother Trucker “The Flyover” With their long-awaited fourth CD, The Flyover, Des Moines-based roots-rockers Brother Trucker finally present another heaping helping of their literate, soulful and cinematic brand of earthy, ‘pan-Americana’ music. Cranking out a heart-felt, dynamic and (as needed) proudly raggedy-assed sound that taps into the likes of Neil Young’s splintering Crazy Horse, The Faces, The Stones, myriad assorted Dylan combos, Southern rock and the heartland/populist themes of Springsteen and Mellencamp, the lads of Brother Trucker provide spot-on backdrops for the extraordinary, wrong-side-of-the-tracks tales spooled out by co-founder and resident singer/songwriter Andy Fleming.
Recorded in 2005, The Flyover continues to extend the ever-rising arc etched by the band’s recorded work but, as Fleming puts it, “a whole lot of life went on between recording and releasing” the album. With its title referring to the vast expanse of the heartland that’s regarded by denizens of ‘major cities’ as little more than in inconvenient space between ‘real’ destinations, the allegorical The Flyover once again showcases Fleming’s wondrous gift for illuminating lives in the margins—of the ignored, the luckless, the forgotten and the invisible, self-destructive beings who’ve fallen through cracks in a society that’s off the rails.
It’s an evocative, often-chilling narrative that interweaves tales of “Billy” (whose dreams of pro baseball dissolve into a dead-end roofing job), “Downtown”’s homeless Nathan, the substance-/physical-abuse cocktail of “Heartbreak Rd.”, the dissolute, embittered football coach of “Home Cookin’,” the loneliness of the long-haul trucker of “Overtime,” the displaced, neglected refugee of “Joseph (A Lost Boy No More,” the doomed, early morning bar-heist of “Something Big,” the rapid-fire, Boss-meets-Chuck Berry adrenaline rush of “The Friday Night Fight” and the nightmarishly-hellbound dysfunctional “Family Reunion.” Laced with booze and powder, dogged by catastrophic choices and economically pinned to the mat, these are people whose hopes have all but evaporated, yet the stories are buoyed by compassion, empathy and Brother Trucker’s exhilarating, dynamic arrangements.
Brother Trucker’s fully-loaded, five-piece format remains one of the most flexible, energetic and inspirational combos in the Midwest, but on any given night, you may very well find them in a variety of configurations, including Andy solo, Andy and co-founder Mike Fitzpatrick (as an acoustic duo), Andy, Mike and Bassist, Lyle Kevin Hogue (as ‘The BT3’) … In every case, what you will get is to-the-bone, passionate musicianship steeped in pan-genre, rockyroll classicism that’s deeply, artfully connected to the very heart and soul of the Iowa/Midwestern experience.
--Jim Musser May 2008