Karuthers Brothers launch CD

THE KARUTHERS BROTHERS: One of this year’s best albums is getting the attention it rightly deserves, enthuses Smash Palace owner Darryl Monteith about Two Sides, a CD of original music by The Karuthers Brothers: Drew Kirk (front left), Peter Stewart, Langley Gerrard (back left), Ta Rutherford and Trevor Herk. “It’s not often that a Gizzy band releases a full length album, and to have one this consistently strong go uncelebrated would have been a travesty. Smash Palace is proud to host The Karuthers Brothers Two Sides album release on December 8. Be there or be somewhere else.” Picture by Mark Peters

RUST never sleeps and neither do Gisborne and the East Coast’s vintage rockers. Not literally, of course. Less than six hours kip a night would make them crusty in the mornings. But like many well-seasoned musicians from this region, The Karuthers Brothers have practised, jammed and performed together in bands for so long they are not just good.

They are really good.

Polish that sound with technology they couldn’t have dreamed of during their formative afternoons in the 1970s, and the Brothers’ debut album Two Sides is a showcase of top musicianship. The album includes ballads, a gospel-driven song and rock-out tracks. There is the melancholic nostalgia of Sweet Memories, the vagaries of life in Two Sides, the raunch of Oh Baby, monstrousness in Innocents, and The Blood, and salvation and damnation in Judgement Day.

“Two Sides crosses different genres,” says songwriter-singer Peter Stewart.

“It doesn’t have just the one flavour. There’s acoustic stuff, electric stuff and folk in there.”

The Karuthers Brothers sound brings to mind Neil Young, Mark Knopfler and 1970s New Zealand band Waves.

In fact, former Waves musicians Graeme Gash and David Marshall make a guest appearance in the wistful Sweet Memories.

The band began with Stewart and Trevor Herk four years ago when the two musicians sat at Stewart’s kitchen table, jammed and came up with ideas for songs.

Drummer Drew Kirk and guitarist Ta Rutherford joined the jam sessions. When “virtual instruments” wizard Langley Gerrard returned from the UK the group had a keyboard player.

The men jammed for the fun of it but when they were offered a gig they came up with name for themselves. The provenance of the moniker Karuthers Brothers is uncertain but when they heard it the name sounded like a good fit.

It evokes a picture of a sartorial posse in sepia tones, a team of gentlemen billiard hustlers except they give their silver away.

“The name rolls off the tongue,” says Stewart.

“It works as an umbrella term that can include guest musicians.”

Stewart wrote the songs for the recording, while the other brothers brought their musical flavours and ideas to them.
“If it worked, we kept it,” says Herk who wrote the gospel-inflected piece Judgement Day.

Having worked in the UK as a producer for many years Gerrard approached the recording from a production standpoint. Herk’s Chicago-based producer son Jamie Carter, whose clients include Chance the Rapper, mastered the recording.

The album comes with a lot of instrumentation, interesting textures and production so slick it is almost an instrument in its own right.

“The idea was to make the recording sound interesting so you don’t get it all in one listen,” says Gerrard.

“We’re not trying to sound like anyone else,” says Stewart.

“Everyone in the band brings their thing to it. These guys lift the songs.”

Along with the former Waves musicians, special guests on the CD include Gisborne singer Rhonda Bryant-Corbett, who provides backing vocals for Judgement Day.

“She’s good,” says Rutherford. “She has a black, soul voice, man.”

Back when venues like the River Bar, the Sandown and the DB Hotel were regular venues the Karuthers Brothers’ band members performed in acts such as Innocent Dingos, The Spectators, Bone Shakers, and Loose Fit.

The fact the band’s core musicians have been around so long is because they are compelled to play music, says Herk.

“Some people fall by the wayside and stop playing, but if you’re a musician, playing music is what you do.

“We’ve known each other, and played together, for years. We’ve played so many different types of music over the years we can draw on that.”




RUST never sleeps and neither do Gisborne and the East Coast’s vintage rockers. Not literally, of course. Less than six hours kip a night would make them crusty in the mornings. But like many well-seasoned musicians from this region, The Karuthers Brothers have practised, jammed and performed together in bands for so long they are not just good.

They are really good.

Polish that sound with technology they couldn’t have dreamed of during their formative afternoons in the 1970s, and the Brothers’ debut album Two Sides is a showcase of top musicianship. The album includes ballads, a gospel-driven song and rock-out tracks. There is the melancholic nostalgia of Sweet Memories, the vagaries of life in Two Sides, the raunch of Oh Baby, monstrousness in Innocents, and The Blood, and salvation and damnation in Judgement Day.

“Two Sides crosses different genres,” says songwriter-singer Peter Stewart.

“It doesn’t have just the one flavour. There’s acoustic stuff, electric stuff and folk in there.”

The Karuthers Brothers sound brings to mind Neil Young, Mark Knopfler and 1970s New Zealand band Waves.

In fact, former Waves musicians Graeme Gash and David Marshall make a guest appearance in the wistful Sweet Memories.

The band began with Stewart and Trevor Herk four years ago when the two musicians sat at Stewart’s kitchen table, jammed and came up with ideas for songs.

Drummer Drew Kirk and guitarist Ta Rutherford joined the jam sessions. When “virtual instruments” wizard Langley Gerrard returned from the UK the group had a keyboard player.

The men jammed for the fun of it but when they were offered a gig they came up with name for themselves. The provenance of the moniker Karuthers Brothers is uncertain but when they heard it the name sounded like a good fit.

It evokes a picture of a sartorial posse in sepia tones, a team of gentlemen billiard hustlers except they give their silver away.

“The name rolls off the tongue,” says Stewart.

“It works as an umbrella term that can include guest musicians.”

Stewart wrote the songs for the recording, while the other brothers brought their musical flavours and ideas to them.
“If it worked, we kept it,” says Herk who wrote the gospel-inflected piece Judgement Day.

Having worked in the UK as a producer for many years Gerrard approached the recording from a production standpoint. Herk’s Chicago-based producer son Jamie Carter, whose clients include Chance the Rapper, mastered the recording.

The album comes with a lot of instrumentation, interesting textures and production so slick it is almost an instrument in its own right.

“The idea was to make the recording sound interesting so you don’t get it all in one listen,” says Gerrard.

“We’re not trying to sound like anyone else,” says Stewart.

“Everyone in the band brings their thing to it. These guys lift the songs.”

Along with the former Waves musicians, special guests on the CD include Gisborne singer Rhonda Bryant-Corbett, who provides backing vocals for Judgement Day.

“She’s good,” says Rutherford. “She has a black, soul voice, man.”

Back when venues like the River Bar, the Sandown and the DB Hotel were regular venues the Karuthers Brothers’ band members performed in acts such as Innocent Dingos, The Spectators, Bone Shakers, and Loose Fit.

The fact the band’s core musicians have been around so long is because they are compelled to play music, says Herk.

“Some people fall by the wayside and stop playing, but if you’re a musician, playing music is what you do.

“We’ve known each other, and played together, for years. We’ve played so many different types of music over the years we can draw on that.”




The Karuthers Brothers launch their CD, Two Sides, at Smash Palace on Friday, December 8, (6pm). Two Sides is available from The Music Room and the Wainui Store.

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