Birmingham band on first national tour

The Brook and The Bluff take off on their first full-length tour.

By Carter Boone
News Reporter

Birmingham has been on the rise in the music scene. There are several venues around the city, such as Saturn, Iron City and the BJCC Arena. With the ever growing flow of artists coming to Birmingham, it was about time that a local band began to make it big.

The Brook and The Bluff emphasizes vocal harmonies and soulful air. They are well known around Birmingham, having grown up in the area, which is where the name originated. Lead singer Joseph Settine grew up in Bluff Park, just a short drive from his future bandmates John Canada, Alec Bolton and Fred Lankford, who all grew up in Mountain Brook.  

“We started as a cover duo, just doing small shows and acoustic covers,” Bolton said.

The band started with Settine and Bolton on keys and guitar as a duo. They later added Canada on drums in May 2016 and Lankford on bass in mid 2017.

“We started in Birmingham but have recently relocated to Nashville. We love Nashville but we’ll always claim Birmingham as our city and where the band took off,” Bolton said.

This year marks the bands first ever national tour.

“We’ve played a few string of shows here and there, but this is our first time doing a full national tour for several months,” Settine said. “We’re excited to play some shows out West, specifically in the Pacific Northwest.” 

They are currently on tour opening up for the band Ripe. The Brook and The Bluff also have some dates away from Ripe where they are playing their own headline shows.

“We got connected to Ripe through Paradigm booking agency. We opened for them one time on a string of shows for a week and then the guys from Ripe said they would love to have us on their next national tour,” Canada said.

The Brook and The Bluff have a unique sound, combining modern Southern soul with vocal harmonies and “groovitational” pull.

“A lot of people recently have told us we sound similar to The Head and The Heart, which we kind of disagree,” Canada said. “When we think of our own music and sound, we sound more similar to the kind of music that John Mayer or Local Natives puts out. We like to think of a mix of pop rock with a large emphasis on harmonies.”

When talking about their music, Lankford mentioned he has a special talent that helps the band with their harmonies. Lankford has perfect pitch. This rare talent of musicians gives them a strong advantage.

“It [having perfect pitch] really helps when we are practicing and even on stage. I can help the rest of the band find the perfect note and let each other know if any of us are singing flat,” Lankford said.

Fans of artists and bands are always intrigued to learn as much as they can about them. One area that people love to know about artists is where they get their inspiration for their songs.

“Inspiration for our songs are largely personal,” Settine said. “The song ‘Rush’ is based off of how I felt about Mad Men season 2 episode 8, and a lot of the songs are based around my experiences from college when I was becoming an adult. Each song is different and as we grow the music has been more focused on our lives.”

The Brook and The Bluff have several more dates of their tour with Ripe upcoming, as well as a few of their own headlining dates away from the tour.

Fans can be expecting more music from the Birmingham band this year. The Brook and The Bluff recently released their highly anticipated new single “Halfway Up” and they are in the process of recording their first full length album.