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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.

Kate Wolf Music Festival, Arlo Stage 2018

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

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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.

Coffis Brothers photographed in Oakland, CA on July 18, 2019 ©Jay Blakesberg

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.

Coffis Brothers photographed in Berkley, CA on July 18, 2019 ©Jay Blakesberg

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.

25th Street Studios, Oakland, CA

Castoro Cellars, Templeton, CA

Roaring Camp, Felton, CA with Tim Bluhm

Park City, UT

Firestone Beer Fest, Paso Robles, CA

June Lake, CA

Humble Sea, Santa Cruz, CA

Bethel Rd Distillery, Templeton, CA

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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.

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