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Everyone has a Beatles expert in their life, right? I've got a handful of them in mine. At one point in my life I was even the Beatles expert, but then I met Aidan and I happily conceded my position. He can recite the whole Beatles Anthology Documentary word for word so I didn't stand a chance. I'm sure someday I'll meet someone else who will take the role as Beatle expert in my life, as will Aidan. But as many Beatles experts as I have met, I still find there are discrepancies in some very basic Beatles trivia, such as what year did the Beatles become a band, and how long were they a band. (If you're screaming at the computer right now saying "the Beatles definitely formed in 1960 and lasted until 1970", well you might be right, but just bare with me for the sake of my point.) The formation of the Beatles should be common knowledge for anyone has ever strummed a guitar or sang along to every word on Rubber Soul, but we don't really know this and that is because we've never established the criteria for when a band actually becomes a band. Is it when they play their first show, put out a record, come to an agreement on how to end one song, disagree on how to end every song, fire their first drummer? I don't know. We don't know. And yeah, it doesn't really matter.

Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, Oregon. One of the last in person shows we played in 2020.

It's a little unclear on the year we officially became a band. Jamie and I started playing around town in 2010 but it took a few months before we started calling ourselves The Coffis Brothers. Don't ask why it took us months to come up with that name, but it just didn't occur to us. (The first show poster we have lists us as Jamie & Kellen Coffis. It's an apt description, sure, but I think we landed on a better name.) In 2011 we recorded and released our first album. At that point we had a handful of full band shows under our belts and by the Summer of 2011, gigging became a more regular thing for us. So for all of those reasons I hereby declare that the formation of The Coffis Brothers was in 2011 and NOT 2010. I can see you doing the math right now. That's right. If we formed in 2011, then 2021 marks our tenth year as a band! We couldn't have 2020 be our ten year anniversary, right? 2020 didn't deserve that. So if 2021 marks our tenth year then that must mean we have our longest, biggest, most extensive tour planned, right? Well, not exactly, but we'll get back to that at some point. Tour or not, we would like to acknowledge our ten years as a band somehow, so throughout the year we'll be highlighting some of the more important and significant moments, shows, people, vehicles, stories, and more from our first ten years as a band.

We say it every year but we really appreciate the support we received this last year. 2020 was tough on everyone, including us, but we feel really grateful to still be a band, and to have fan's and friend's support. Thanks for sticking with us in 2020 and we hope, more than anything, to see you in 2021.

Here's some pictures from the last ten years.

2011 Gadgetbox Studios, Santa Cruz during the recording of 'The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men'

2012 Roaring Camp, Felton following our set at the Redwood Mountain Faire.

2013 Gadgetbox Studios real late one night during the recording of 'Wrong Side of The Road.' Jamie and Kellen wearing Henry and Kyle's leather jackets. We thought it would make a funny picture. It sorta did.'

2014 Fillmore green room in San Francisco following our set opening for Poor Man's Whiskey.

2015 Post-show outside The Catalyst in Santa Cruz with Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke. (You can see our van, Gretschen in the background).

2016 On the roof of Barefoot Studios in Hollywood during the recording of 'Roll With It'

2017 Denver, Colorado Henry's farewell show.

2018 Castoro Cellars, Templeton, California.

Bethel Road Distillery, Templeton, Ca following a video shoot for the Bethel Road Live Sessions.

2020 Fairfax at Tim Bluhm's house for a live stream.

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Updated: Jul 15, 2020

With your help and the help of Blue Rose Music we were able to raise $2,100 in three weeks and make donations of $700 to the Black Futures Lab, The Conscious Kid, and the Know Your Rights Camp. We encourage you to check out these organizations (as well as the many other) that are helping in the fight for racial justice and to continue to follow them and their missions.

We will be mailing out the remaining shirt orders this week so expect to receive yours soon if you haven’t already. Thanks again for your support.

Jun 8 - Each week we will be donating the proceeds to a different charitable organization that are promoting and helping assist in the achievement of racial justice. All proceeds raised will be matched by Blue Rose Music.

June 22 - This week proceeds will go towards Know Your Rights Camp. Here is their mission statement:

Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.

Jun 15 - This week's proceeds will be going towards The Conscious Kid. Here is their missions statement:

The Conscious Kid is an education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth. We partner with organizations, children’s museums, schools, and families across the country to promote access to children’s books centering underrepresented and oppressed groups.

June 8 - This week's proceeds from sales go towards Black Futures Lab. Here is Black Futures Lab's mission statement:

Black Futures Lab works with Black people to transform our communities, building Black political power and changing the way that power operates—locally, statewide, and nationally.

s to which organization we will be donating to each week. All the proceeds made between June 8th-14th will go directly to Black Future Labs. We will be keeping you updated a

If you would like to donate directly to Black Futures Lab you can do that here:

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Coffis Brothers Call Back to Other Musical Siblings on ‘In the Cuts’

Jamie and Kellen Coffis deliver harmony-drenched rock

By Wallace Baine

Other than the name of their group, musicians Jamie and Kellen Coffis aren’t in the habit of calling too much attention to the fact that they are brothers. It’s not likely, for instance, that they’ll ever be caught performing in matching sweaters, or engaging in “Mom liked you best” banter on stage between songs.

But they are not above a clever acknowledgment of their shared blood every once in a while. Take the last song on the Coffis Brothers’ newly released album In the Cuts, “Bye Bye Susie.” In case you missed the reference to another famous song in that title, about a minute and a half into this amiable rocker, the Coffis boys winkingly switch over into a musical quote of the immortal “Bye, Bye Love” by Phil and Don Everly, who also wrote the hit “Wake Up Little Susie.”

“At first, it was just a placeholder,” says Jamie Coffis, who wrote “Bye Bye Susie.” “But as time went on, it kinda became unavoidable. It became the charm of the song, and it couldn’t be replaced.”

“We love the Everly Brothers, and we’ve even done Everly Brothers tribute shows,” says Kellen Coffis. “(Jamie) didn’t set out to write a song about the Everly Brothers. But once it was out there, we just had to lean into it and accept it.”

It’s a fun moment in an album that otherwise has little in common with the Everlys. Like much of their recorded material over the past decade, the new album by the Coffis Brothers mines a rich vein of unpretentious, guitar-driven, harmony-drenched rock. Its first single—the mellow, dreamy, mid-tempo “In My Imagination”—is an ideal choice for cruising in a convertible on a sunny afternoon. The album’s late-’70s style graphic cover art also gives you clues about the Coffis musical vibe.

“Sensibility-wise, it’s many of the same choices that we’ve always made,” says Jamie of the new album. “It’s also more mature. It just shows that we’ve been growing and learning. The fact that we got to work with someone we’ve been a big fan of in Tim Bluhm was a good match, too.”

That’s Tim Bluhm from the popular Northern California trio the Mother Hips, who served as the producer of In the Cuts. “We started out as just big fans,” says Jamie of the Coffises’ relationship with Bluhm. “We ran in some of the same circles and, as time went on, we had some friendly conversations. But as far as someone we’ve wanted to work with, he had been at the top of the list for a long time.”

As a musical enterprise, the Coffis Brothers are less like the Everlys and more like the Allman Brothers, in that they front a much larger band featuring non-family members. The five-piece band includes guitarist Kyle Poppen, who has been playing with Jamie and Kellen since they were all preteens. The band’s rhythm section consists of bassist Aidan Collins and drummer Sam Kellerman. (For years, the band went by the moniker the Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men, but for simplicity’s sake, they’ve ditched the second part of their name.)

Photo by Jay Blakesberg

At the heart of the band remains Jamie and Kellen, who grew up singing harmony with their mother, children’s-music performer Vicki Neville Coffis. The brothers began writing songs together in 2007, and by 2011 they had formed a band and released their debut recording. For the past decade, the band has been regularly touring the Northern California club circuit, building a formidable fan base and representing the Santa Cruz sound.

The brothers are both songwriters, and though they tend to write separately, they alternate on songwriting credits and lead vocals as close to 50/50 as possible. “We’ve always pretty much gotten along,” says Kellen, the younger brother. “Sometimes we’ll get annoyed with each other, but that’s to be expected. At this point, we know the band itself is bigger than the two of us, and that’s the most important thing. But there’s no one else on the planet who’s going to be able to sing harmony with me as well as Jamie can.”

As is the case with every other California musician, the Coffis Brothers are working to figure out a new normal for live music in the pandemic era. Because Jamie and Kellen are also roommates, they’ve been able to perform online together, in the same room. But In the Cuts comes at a time when the band is robbed of the opportunity to market the album through live performances.  

“The lack of shows is kind of disconcerting,” says Jamie, who also works part-time as a programmer on KPIG (107.5 FM). “But I’m optimistic about the proposition of releasing an album in this time. It gives us something to stay busy with, for sure. In some ways, it might turn out to be an advantage, in that we get some eyes on it as a result of people not being able to go out and see shows. They’re looking for something they might be able to enjoy in their homes.”

“I have to believe that we’re going to get on the other side of this,” says Kellen. “There will be changes that are temporary, and others that will be permanent. I don’t know exactly how things are going to play out, but the important thing is that we can remember people are coming to the realization of how special it is to see live music. What would someone give right now to go into a room with a hundred other friends and watch a band? Thinking about that right now, fifteen bucks for that sounds like nothing.”

By Wallace Baine

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