We are very excited to announce that we will be releasing our fourth full-length studio album titled In The Cuts on April 24th. In The Cuts, produced by Tim Bluhm, is our first release since the Back To The Rubble EP in 2019 and our first full-length album since Roll With It in 2017. In The Cuts was recorded at 25th Street Studios in Oakland and Tim’s House in Fairfax over the course of 2019. We have several more exciting announcements coming soon. Stay tuned.
After a year away we are returning to Laytonville, California in June to spend another weekend at the 25th Anniversary of the Kate Wolf Music Festival. We first played the Kate Wolf Festival in 2015 after years of hearing about it from festival goers and festival players. We had a quick turn around and came right back in 2016, and returned once more in 2018. Each year has been enjoyable and memorable in its own right so we’re looking forward to seeing what 2020 has in store. We remember 2015 for being so mother effing hot that putting on jeans and walking onto a stage with no shade was borderline dangerous. In 2016 we took our newly learned Everly Brothers set out of Santa Cruz for the first time, and in 2018 we backed up John Craigie on a set of Tom Petty songs in front of a most raucous crowd before waking up at 5am to drive to a casino to watch the World Cup.
In the three years we’ve played at Kate Wolf we’ve been Coffis Brothers, Everly Brothers, and the Heartbreakers and this year we’ll be bringing another set of music to you as we back up Tim Bluhm for a couple sets. Since we started backing Tim in 2019 we’ve talked about how Kate Wolf would be a great place to bring this band, so we’re very excited to actually be doing it and not just talking about it. In addition to backing Tim we’ll be playing a set of our own music so it will be another busy weekend at the Kate Wolf Music Festival, but we wouldn’t want it any other way. We’ve met a ton of you Kate Wolfers over the years so we’re excited to tell you that we’re coming back to Kate Wolf. See you in Laytonville in June.
Kate Wolf Music Festival
Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville, California
June 25-28, 2020
We really outdid ourselves in 2019. Made a record, played more shows than ever, started a band, and we put off writing our year in review post for the entire year, and then some. A new record! How about that? Not bad, eh? But we have a really good excuse, I promise. We were really busy. Like really busy. Alright, not a great excuse, but let me explain.
On the second day of 2019 we started work on our fourth full length record. We went to 25th Street Studios in Oakland with Tim Bluhm at the helm as producer and worked for five days. Things didn’t slow down after that either. In February we got signed to a record label. Or we signed a record contract, or record deal, or whatever you want to call it. I don’t know. But the truth is we signed with a label called Blue Rose Music. Alright, what next? Well, we continued work on our record with Tim Bluhm. We started a new band with Tim, and continued working on the record. We got a new van! And continued working on the record. So as you can see I wasn’t lying, we were busy.
As we enter a new decade we’ve done a little bit of reminiscing and looking back at the last ten years as a whole. So check this out. On a Tuesday in May of 2010 we played a show at a venue in Felton that, at the time, was called Don Quixote’s International Music Hall. We went under the name “Jamie and Kellen Coffis” and our friend Kyle Poppen joined us for about half of the show. Over the next year we played a handful of shows, I graduated college and eventually we decided to started playing more shows as a band, made a record and started calling ourselves “The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men.” The years after we did all sorts of things. We played hundreds and hundreds of shows, all around the country. Sometimes we played for a lot of people and sometimes we played for far less than a lot of people. Sometimes we drove really far to play for those people, or no people. My brother and I started this thing with no real grand plan. We had started writing songs and, at times playing music together, but I don’t know if we ever had a real conversation about starting a band that would play hundreds of shows a year and make records. In fact, to this day I don’t think we’ve had a conversation about that, but we’ve just kept doing it. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing, or what we were even trying to do, when we started and we hardly know what we’re doing now, but we’ve learned a lot, we’ve gotten better (or at least we’d like to think we have) and we’ve grown up, if by no other metric than age. But we don’t need to go through all of this again. I think you know the story.
It’s been quite a year and it’s been quite a decade but who’s got time to stop and reflect? Thanks for all the support for the last year and throughout the whole decade whatever that was called (the naughts? the teens? the two thousand tens?). We are very grateful for all of you who may be reading this, for being a band, for having a label supporting us, and most of all, for having people who want to listen to our music and come to our shows. Happy New Year, folks. See ya soon.
We feel like we’ve made it quite known that this band started in the Santa Mountains and specifically in a small town called Ben Lomond. At the formation of the band all five members lived in the San Lorenzo Valley but that his since changed. Even Kyle, who grew up in Ben Lomond, now lives just outside the San Lorenzo Valley area, but we still claim Ben Lomond has our true home and although there is more than a little bit of tongue and cheek in our “Cougar pride”, our fascination with Bigfoot, or even our self-anointed “Mountain Men” moniker; the truth is we do love where we’ve grown up and it’s fun for us to talk about and show people our funny little town that is Ben Lomond.
A few weeks ago we played some songs and did an interview with Jim Agius and Tom Gaffey or the Onstage With Jim and Tom series that takes place at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. The Santa Cruz Mountains often get brought up in these types of conversations but this one went a little deeper than most. I have absolutely no way of knowing this but I’d say you can’t find a podcast that has talked about Ben Lomond more than this one. So while that might turn many of you away, for all you Ben Lomond residents (current or former), small-town enthusiasts, or Coffis Brothers fanatics (yeah, you know who you are), we think this interview is right up your alley. And FYI, we do talk about topics other than Ben Lomond, such as Taco Bell, and music of course. We hope you enjoy. Here’s the link to the full interview and performance.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that we did play some music while we were with Jim and Tom. Here are the four songs we recorded that night at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma.
We Will Meet Again
The Other Side
Too Good To Let Go
We’ve got a pretty fun weekend ahead of us. We’re playing in Big Sur, Fairfax, and Chico and we’re opening shows for Tim Bluhm each night. That alone would be enough reason for us to be excited. But that’s not it. For each of these shows we will be playing a set as the Coffis Brothers and also playing a full set backing Tim Bluhm.
I try to make these blog posts informative but also kinda silly and not too serious. This one isn’t any different, but before we get to the silly and not too serious part, I do want to say that we’ve long looked up to Tim and getting to be his band is a huge thrill for us. We love the songs we’re playing, and we’re just really excited to get to show this to audiences.
In between a week in Hawaii and a week rafting down a river in Idaho, Tim took a little bit of time to chat about this new band and these upcoming shows. Here’s the interview with Tim Bluhm.
Kellen Coffis: Thanks for joining us, Tim. How are things?
Tim Bluhm: I’m doing fine, just wrapping up a few things before heading into the mountains for a week.
KC: We love the mountains over here at coffisbrothers.com. We’re very familiar with them. Looks like you’ve been super busy working, so can you tell us what you’ve been up to this last week?
TB: Oh, I was busy hanging out in Hawaii. It’s been a tough summer so far.
KC: Sounds like it. What island were you on?
TB: Big Island. Lots of lava there. Some of it is brand new.
KC: I’m more of a small island guy myself. I prefer the less touristy places like Oahu. There’s a great Cheesecake Factory over there if you ever make it back.
TB: Yeah you guys don’t get out of your mountains much, huh?
KC: It’s been a while. Anyway, let’s get to the reason why we’re here. Looks like you’ve got some shows lined up. Anything you can tell us about these shows or is it just the same ol’ Tim bluhm playing the same ol’ Tim bluhm songs?
TB: Oh yeah, I meant to ask you guys if you would play these shows with me.
KC: I’ll check our calendar but we could probably pull it off. Maybe we can call it Tim Bluhm and the Coffis Brothers and the Mountain Men. What do you think?
TB: That might be too many syllables there. There are already enough syllables in the lyrics to last us a year.
KC: Well, you’re the songwriter so I’ll trust you on the syllables thing. Calendar says we’re free. Let’s do it. What songs do you want to play?
TB: The songs are pretty straightforward. Actually, maybe there’re a couple weird things. But I’m sure you’ll do great. But we definitely won’t have time to rehearse.
KC: So is this a new band for you? How’d you find these guys? I imagine they must have outlasted dozens of other contenders in a rigorous audition process, right?
TB: Um, yeah. Pretty much. We played one show together, the closing set at Hipnic XI, and it sounded really good to me. A really full, yet dynamic band with expert harmony singing.
KC: You’ve played in many bands throughout your career, in what way is this one different? And why, with only one show under you, have you been so vocal about calling this the very best band you have played in? Or did I make that up?
TB: Did I say that?
KC: Must have been someone else. Anyway, tell us about these upcoming shows and generally what you will be doing at these shows.
TB: I would say I haven’t played in as many bands as some guys my age, but a few for sure. It’s fun to mix it up and to play songs that don’t get heard much. That’s the cool part of playing with new combos. I can play songs that aren’t Hips songs but they sound good with a band. Joking aside, we’ve worked up a long list of my songs from my new record, my previous 5 solo records and some brand new ones, too.
KC: Well, we can’t wait to hear it/I can’t wait to play it. I see you’re playing in Big Sur, Fairfax, and Chico next week. Those are great towns. Have you spent much time in any of those places?
TB: I love all of those places and I have spent lots of time in each of them. My new house is a couple blocks from the Fairfax venue.
KC: Well, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with me. I’m really looking forward to the shows.
KC: Can you add me and a plus one to the guest list for the weekend?
KC: Also, I might need a place to crash in Fairfax. Got any room for me and four other guys?
KC: Maybe we can carpool or something? Ya know, save some gas money?
KC: Alright, see ya Thursday.
June 27- Fernwood Resort, Big Sur http://folkyeah.com/#/tim-bluhm-big-sur-627
June 28- 19 Broadway, Fairfax https://19broadway.com/event/tim-bluhm-the-coffis-brothers/
June 29- The Commons, Chico https://www.thecommonschico.com/events/2019/6/6/one-year-lot-party-with-tim-bluhm-the-coffis-brothers-and-more
Is your bracket a total mess? Are there red lines marked on seemingly every inch of paper? Was New Mexico State’s Round 1 loss a bracket buster for you? (What was I thinking? New Mexico St in the Final Four?) Do you have any idea what we’re talking about? For all of you whose brackets have been crumpled up and thrown away after the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, we’re giving you a clean slate. In honor of of March Madness, which has been celebrated in the Coffis household for decades, we decided to make our very own Coffis Brothers Sweet 16.
We have very carefully, hand-selected (eh, I just sorta chose the first ones I thought of) 16 of our songs and put them in a bracket format for you to vote on. For you super fans who love a Cinderella Story, this is your chance to get that deep-cut that no one else knows about into a Final Four, and for those of you who root for the Duke’s and North Carolina’s, take care of business and make sure the “Hits” see their way to another Championship. If you still don’t have a clue what we’re talking about, don’t worry about it. It’s pretty simple. All week long we will be putting our songs in a head-to-head matchup over on our Instagram Story until we have just one song remaining, and that one song will forever be dubbed the greatest of all Coffis Brothers songs. Well, probably not, but I thought this could be fun and we’d love your participation. Tune into our Instagram all week long to follow the results and get a peak at the full bracket below.
We did it! We’ve made it to the end of the year and also to my favorite post of the year. It’s one of those posts where we talk about how we can’t believe how fast the year has gone, or maybe we could go with the “actually, this year felt even longer than normal” take, but I don’t have any sort of hot take about if 2018 felt long or short or if it was great or terrible.
As I reflect about the past year I do think that 2018 will be a very memorable and notable year for the Coffis team. At least it feels like that right now. Once again we played more shows than any other year, we completed our first full calendar year with Sam as our drummer, we played at the legendary Strawberry Music Festival, we got to play a handful of shows with one of our favorite bands, The Mother Hips, and we played at our good friend’s new brewery (Humble Sea Brewing Co). Without going too far into all of the crazy sleepless traveling we did, or the times we couldn’t believe how hot it was in the backseat of the van, or what seemed like the ten thousand times we loaded our gear in and out of a venue, (and we use the word venue very loosely), I think what has stood out most about 2018 is all the people we’ve met at our shows over the years that we saw so many times in 2018 and have formed real relationships with. I hesitate to call them fans because they feel more like good friends at this point and we’re so grateful and thankful to all of you who take time out of your days and nights to go see us perform. We are very aware of the effort and money it takes for you to come to even one show, let alone dozens of shows some of you have gone to. If you’re reading this then I’d imagine you’re probably one of those people we’re talking about and we’d just like to say thank you. We hope that you’ve enjoyed every one of our shows no matter how early or late it was, how hot or cold it was, how loud or quiet we were, (usually loud) and most of all we hope that every show was very musical for you.
2019 we’ll begin the the 9th year that Jamie, Kyle and I have been performing under the name The Coffis Brothers, which is pretty amazing to think about. Along the way we picked up Aidan and Sam who have become great partners in music and also great friends, but for all the crazy things we’ve done and for all the hundreds and hundreds of shows we’ve played, it’s really refreshing to know that without a doubt I can say we’re having more fun than we’ve ever had and are more excited than we’ve ever been about the band. On the second day of 2019 we’ll officially start recording our fourth full length album. We’re beyond excited to get to work on it and we can’t wait to show it to you all when it’s done (don’t hold your breath though.) Happy New Year, everyone, and for one last time in 2018 we’d like to say thank you all so so much. Your support means more to us than you could know.
Love, Jamie, Kellen, Sam, Aidan, and Kyle
Here’s a look back at some of our most memorable moments of 2018
On Friday December 21st we will be performing our third San Lorenzo Valley High-School Soccer Fundraiser Concert. Given that this is our third year in a row doing this, you probably know the backstory by now, but in case you don’t, here’s the abridged version. Jamie, Kyle, and myself all played soccer for San Lorenzo Valley High-School for four years. After graduating from SLV, I coached the Boy’s Junior Varsity team for four years before taking over the Girl’s Varsity team three years ago. For the past two seasons Jamie has been my assistant coach and we’ve had a blast doing it. Being the head coach of a Varsity Soccer team and being in a traveling band has certainly been a bit of a juggling act but we’ve always been able to pull it off. Sometimes it involves sprinting out of a practice to a gig and changing out of soccer shorts into jeans at the venue but it’s always worth it.
These fundraiser concerts have not only been a good way of raising money for the girl’s but also a fun way to show the team what Jamie and I are up to when we’re not on a soccer field. If you find yourself free on Friday December 21st we hope you come out to San Lorenzo Valley High School and check out their new Performing Arts Center where we will be performing. Our good friend, and SLV Alum, Henry Chadwick will be opening the show. Here’s some pictures of the girl’s soccer players that will be benefitting from you attending this show. They’re awesome kids. Show them support this Friday night.
San Lorenzo Valley High School Performing Arts Center, Felton
Doors 7pm Show 7:30pm
Henry Chadwick opens
On October 20th we return to Moe’s Alley in our hometown of Santa Cruz. Of course, we’re really excited to be back playing at Moe’s especially given that this is our first club date in Santa Cruz since May, so it feels long overdue. In addition to the normal excitement of playing a local show, October 20th is a date that’s marked on the Coffis calendar every year but has even a little extra significance this year.
Earlier this month marked the year anniversary of Tom Petty’s passing and October 20th would be Tom’s 68th Birthday. In the year since, we’ve started to play his songs on stage pretty regularly which is not something we did as much of before, oddly enough. I think we were playing You Wreck Me but that was about it. I’m not sure really why that was, but probably sort of out of respect to those songs or something. And like so many others, we’re still just as sad about Tom’s passing as we were a year ago, but throughout this year we’ve had a lot of fun playing his songs and the opportunities to play them continue to pop up. There was our show October 6th at Sutter Creek Provisions where there was so much Tom Petty memorabilia in the venue that it only felt right to play a half dozen Petty tunes, or earlier this Summer when John Craigie asked us to back him up on a set of Petty tunes at the Kate Wolf Music Festival, which still feels like one of the highlight sets of our year. But even aside from the real heavy Petty nights, we’ve been playing a song or two most nights seemingly. We played It’s Good To Be King at the Strawberry Music Festival, Love Is A Long Road on the Stompin’ Grounds Stage at the Whale Rock Music Festival, we encored our set at the Redwood Mountain Faire with Runnin’ Down a Dream and You Wreck Me, which featured a very surprised McCoy Tyler on lead guitar, and even made a video of Rebels at a distillery in Templeton (https://youtu.be/F7ye51l1rmE). Some nights they might feel really emotional and it can be difficult to get through, and other nights they’re just fun and sort of healing.
It turns out that we weren’t the only who had Tom’s Birthday on the calendar because we’ve noticed a lot of Tom Petty tribute shows going on that night which is really cool to see. Our show at Moe’s Alley will not be one of those Tom Petty Tribute Shows, but it was no accident that we chose this date to play in Santa Cruz. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, everything we do is in some way a tribute to Tom, and October 20th at Moe’s Alley will be no exception to that. If there’s one thing that might stand above everything else that Tom taught us, it was the importance of a song. So yeah, we’re going to play mostly Coffis Brothers songs that night. I think in some ways that’s as much of a tribute to Tom as anything we can do. With that said, if you think we’re going to play a show on Tom Petty’s Birthday in our hometown and not play at least a few Tom Petty songs then you don’t know us very well. And we can get pretty liberal with “a few” when it comes to Tom Petty songs. Tom Petty’s songs are our very favorite songs in the world and we want them to continue to be heard and played so we’re going to do our small part to make sure they always are.
We look forward to seeing lots of friends, family, and fans at this show. We’re really excited to have our good friend, Taylor Rae who will be bringing her band with her to open the show. If you live in Santa Cruz then I’m sure you’re already familiar with Taylor, but if you aren’t then I’d really recommend you make a point to see her. You’ll love her.
The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men at Moe’s Alley
Saturday October 20th
with Taylor Rae
A little over a year ago we got an email from a guy named Luke to play at a festival called Whale Rock Music & Arts Festival. We weren’t very familiar with the festival as it was the first year under its new name (formerly Beaverstock,) we hadn’t met Luke before, but we pretty quickly agreed to play the festival. Soon after, Luke offered to shoot some live performance videos for us, so he and his three person video crew drove up to Ben Lomond from Paso Robles on a weekday and shot some videos on our parent’s back deck, and the videos turned out great. Check them out. (You And Me, Bad Luck Thing Called Love) A few months later we spent three days at Castoro Cellars in Templeton during Whale Rock and had a blast. We played two sets at the festival, we were treated really well by everyone, and we met a bunch of good people.
In the last year we’ve made several stops back at Castoro Cellars including playing a couple of shows at their tasting room, and each time we come we’re treated like family. We even shot a few more videos. (Whiskey Song, Rebels (Tom Petty) We’re really excited to be returning to Whale Rock this year (September 15 & 16) and we’d love to let more people know about the fine work they’re doing down in Templeton at Castoro Cellars during these two days at Whale Rock. We had the pleasure of talking with that guy I was telling you about, Luke Udsen just days before the sixth Whale Rock Music Festival. Here’s our conversation.
Kellen Coffis: Thanks for joining us, Luke, how’s it going?
Luke Udsen: It’s going great, man! Getting everything ready for the fun to come.
KC: What’s your involvement with this festival, Luke? Should we call you the CEO? General Manager? Producer? Editor-in-chief? What is it you say you do there at the Whale Rock headquarters.
LU: I definitely wear a lot of hats, but primarily I would say I’m the promoter. I handle all of the booking for Whale Rock and most of the marketing, promoting, etc. It’s definitely a group effort but that’s sort of my realm in a nutshell.
KC: Interesting. So help me out here. I’m familiar with many different genres of music and rock like hard rock, alternative rock, folk rock, even yacht rock, but I’ve never heard of whale rock. Can you tell me what whale rock is and do all of these bands at the festival only play whale rock? I’m a big yacht rock fan. I’d imagine yacht rock and whale rock go together well.
LU: Oh for sure, that’s written into every band’s contract. Whale sounds, long, short, subtle, must be incorporated in some way throughout the set. In all seriousness, Whale Rock is the name of the vineyard the festival takes place in and the name comes from the petrified whale bones we find all throughout the vineyard.
KC: Okay. That makes sense. So the festival takes place on a winery. Castoro Cellars, right? Will you be serving some of this wine at the festival? Or do you just keep it for yourself?
LU: Oh, we serve plenty of wine at the festival, but if you want the really good stuff, you gotta find me and I’ll pour it from my bota bag.
KC:Great. I love wine from a bag. That’s the best stuff. So I know this is a music festival and that it’s on a winery, but what if I hate music and don’t drink wine? Got anything for me to do there?
LU:Oh yeah. We’ve got all kinds of stuff, for instance, craft beer, cider, kombucha (it’s all the rage these days), yoga, arts & crafts, silent disco, even a tea garden this year! If you’re a kid you’re in even more luck with free face painting, a musical petting zoo and natural fallen oak playground.
KC: Looks like you’ve done your homework. But what if I don’t like music, can’t, draw, don’t have kids, am allergic to fur, am more of a cross fitter than a yogi, and only drink coors light. Got anything for me now, wise guy?
LU: Absolutely. We’ve got an exit, unless you’re into BBQ, then we’ve got you covered.
KC: Well, I do love BBQ. Okay, I’m back in. Let’s talk music now. Looks like you’ve had a pretty wide range of bands come through the vineyard over the years. How’s the lineup looking this year?
LU: Yeah for sure we’ve had so many amazing artists over the years and this year is no different. There are touring bands coming from all over the country playing all kinds of music and most importantly they all play really good music. Good music that people can easily connect with. At least that’s the goal.
KC:That sounds great. I love good music. It’s my favorite. I’m also really into five piece bands rock bands. You know like, two guitars, bass, drums, keys, and maybe one’s with brothers. Got anything like that?
LU: Bummer, I didn’t book any of those this year. I did book this band called the Mountain Men. They shred
KC: Yeah, I think I know those guys.
LU :Yeah, their drummer, Sam is a real hard ass dude.
KC: Never mind. Must be a different band. So you’ve got some great national touring acts but can I give you a tip? There’s a ton of great bands in the San Luis Obispo area. You ever think to have any of them at Whale Rock?
KC: Good call. And again I think a five piece rock band from a beach town could really pull this whole festival together. Just a thought. This sounds like a great festival though and you’re starting to sell me on this, but I’m not quite sold. Is there anything else you can tell me to suede me into coming? I mean you seem like a nice guy and all but I don’t really know if I want to give you money to buy more of those hats you seem to wear so many of.
LU: Well, you my friend are in luck! Just by attending Whale Rock you are directly benefiting the Templeton High School music program. You buy a hat, a kid gets a trumpet or something along those lines…maybe a clarinet. Its totally worth it, even if you bought a ticket and decided to stay home and crossfit with your bros instead.
KC: Yeah, I’ve gotta get my pump on so we’ll see if I make it, but that’s good to know. I know there’s been a name change with the festival but by my count, 2018 makes this the sixth year of the festival. Is that correct?
LU: Yes sir, number six it is, kinda crazy for us. Seems like only yesterday she was born and finding her way. Now she’s all grown up.
KC: While we’re on the topic of being born yesterday and finding her way. I understand you’ve had some rather important changes to your life since Whale Rock number five.
LU: Indeed I have! My wife and I welcomed our daughter Ella into our lives in April, and she has been the boss ever since. She was actually at Whale Rock last year but was probably only the size of a kidney bean.
KC: Congratulations. Will Ella be making an appearance at the festival? Any bands she’s looking forward to seeing?
LU: Oh yeah, she’ll be there for sure. She’s super into all kinds of music but she definitely likes that band that sings “You And Me” and “Bad Luck.” I’m spacing on their name, but she loves their stuff.
KC: Sounds like a bright kid. I think we’ll get along really well. Alright, so this is what I’m hearing: There’s good live music, a variety of alcohols, dancing, exercising, animals, food, and were raising money for a high-school music program. Sounds like you’ve covered it all. Well done. Anything I’m missing? Any last messages you’d like to tell the people.
LU: There are two types of people. Those who Whale Rock and those who sit at home and watch everyone’s instagram stories….who do you want to be? I’ll take the whale any day.
KC: And remind me where and when this is happening, and if tickets are still available.
LU: It all goes down in the Whale Rock Vineyard at Castoro Cellars Winery September 15th & 16th and tickets are currently still available at www.whalerockmusicfestival.com
KC: Sounds like a good time. I think I’ll go. Why don’t you throw me on the guest list and I’ll see you there on September 15th.