Brudi Brothers take UD by storm and song

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The Brudi Brothers, a band based in Seattle, Washington, had a concert on March 1st. Photo by Eleanor Jenkins.

Friday, March 1, was a unique night for many students at the University of Dallas, and indeed for the university itself. That evening in the Rathskeller, the school hosted a private performance from the Brudi Brothers, a small-time, Seattle-based family band with a storied past as traveling minstrels in both the United States and Europe. Over the past year, the band has developed a kind of cult following here at UD, and many students were surprised and elated that the school was hosting one of their favorite bands. But perhaps no one was more surprised or elated than the Brudi Brothers themselves.

It all began in the fall of 2022 when Evan Swope, a senior German major at UD, was introduced to the band by his brother-in-law, who had come across them in his Spotify recommended artists. At the time, the Brudi Brothers had about forty monthly listeners on Spotify and Bandcamp, as well as a sparse and eclectic YouTube presence. Upon hearing them, Swope was immediately enamored with their music and began introducing them to his friends. Despite hesitancies and semi-dismissive nods from the initial few, the Brudi Brothers eventually caught on with a larger group of UDers.

Eventually, Kathleen Flynn, a senior English and classics major as well as CAB Academics Intern, contacted the brothers directly through Instagram. She organized for UD to fly the band in from Seattle and have them perform for the school. According to Flynn, the Brudi Brothers were thrilled that the school was not only flying them in but offering to pay them for the show, too!

The performance was simple and intimate, with just the two brothers, Conrad and George, and their guitars in a cleared section of the Rathskeller. The scene was reminiscent of a regular UD Cap House. But by the time they began playing, the room was packed to bursting with UDers, both longtime fans and curious newcomers alike. It was clear that this was a new and unique UD event. The Brudi Brothers gave an energetic and charismatic show full of cowboy yodeling, whistling and trumpet impressions. They paused between each song to tell jokes and stories about their songs and occasionally shared their delight and astonishment that so many people knew their lyrics by heart.

Many students chose to attend the Brudi Brothers’ performance instead of the Gregory Alan Isakov concert happening simultaneously in Dallas, with some even selling their Isakov tickets last minute and making for the Rat. This didn’t go unnoticed by the brothers, who playfully referred to Isakov as “that hack, Greg something” and remarked how honored and humbled they were that many UDers chose to forego seeing a popular, “name-brand” artist like Isakov for the Brudi Brothers who, according to Conrad, were renowned “only on your poster upstairs.”

But those who attended the small show in the Rat would agree that it was well worth it and, indeed, a night to remember. The Brudi Brothers fit in seamlessly with the UD community and spirit. From the band’s Homeric references to their experience living and traveling in Europe, students who attended the show remarked that they wouldn’t be surprised if the brothers themselves were UD alums. UDers identified with and appreciated the brothers’ thoughtful and meaningful lyrics, delighting in the incredible origin stories of many of the songs (all of which Conrad adamantly asserted were true). The Brudis talked about how many of their songs were born from their unique experiences, such as working at a harbor in Amsterdam, traveling throughout Germany and Poland, doing stonemasonry on medieval European churches, riding thoroughbred horses as long-distance jockeys and living on a private island.

Whether it was crooning for the queen of the Netherlands or churning out rock-n-roll tunes for drunken Seattle crowds, the Brudis seemed to have seen it all, that is, until they came to UD. “You guys actually listen!” said an astounded Conrad. George added, “It’s one of the best feelings in the world to hear your own songs sung back to you at a show.” All in all, the experience proved to be unique for the Brudis as well as the UD community in that a real and personal bond was formed between the musicians and their audience.

By the night’s end, students were sad to see the Brudis go, and Conrad commented that after this show, they would have a real check to their egos going back to play Seattle bars. However, the memory of their visit won’t soon fade in UD students’ or the Brudis’ minds. It’s safe to say that UDers and Brudis alike enjoyed the night immensely. The band and students formed a special connection that, hopefully, will lead to the Brudi Brothers becoming regulars at the University of Dallas for years to come.

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