“Synergy is the interaction of forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual parts.” – an apt description for The Barley Jacks. Brian’s mastery of the fiddle and mandolin is perfectly complemented by the virtuosity of Joe Cruz on guitar and Kevin Rowe on bass. The first thing an audience notices is the way these amazing musicians interact on stage. Each player listens and responds to the others. Brian responds to a musical idea of Joe’s that is in turn elaborated on by Kevin. Brian replies and so on until the music becomes something new and alive. Audience members get caught up in the action not unlike spectators watching top tennis players play an extended volley at Wimbledon. These guys really play and they really play.
Native Minnesotan Brian Wicklund has been an integral part of the acoustic music scene for decades. As a teenager, he won dozens of fiddle contests. He has toured nationally and internationally with bands Stoney Lonesome, Judith Edelman Band, Kathy Kallick Band, Lorie Line’s Pop Chamber Orchestra, Chris Stuart Band, and currently with the two bands Brother Mule and The Barley Jacks. He has been busy as a studio musician and producer laying down fiddle and mandolin tracks on over a hundred projects including two CD projects of his own. Brian also wrote best-selling books, American Fiddle Method published by Mel Bay. He is in constant demand as a teacher worldwide. Joe Cruz brings 30 years of eclectic guitar virtuosity to the band. Kevin Rowe is as comfortable in a symphony as he is in a jazz combo or a bluegrass band. Together, The Barley Jacks truly are synergy.
“Amazing instrumentalists!” • “Brilliant performance” • “Your music makes me smile all day!”
Brother Mule in concert is a musical conversation between three of America’s most gifted acoustic musicians. The bandmates share the spotlight in a three-ringed circus of extraordinary talent and variety. Brian Wicklund ignites the stage with his fiery fiddling, Ben Winship plays tasty mandolin as he croons one of his finely crafted songs, while Eric Thorin pushes the boundaries of bass playing as an extreme sport.
Their debut recording, “Brother Mule” (formerly named “Big Twang”) earned them Indie Music Award's Best Americana CD of 2005. It's a showcase of original and traditional vocals and instrumentals spanning genres of swing, old time, Celtic, old country and acoustic funk.
A list of dates and venues is available on at Tour Schedule.