Ben Morrison of The Brothers Comatose released an acoustic, solo version of “Tops of the Trees” this morning in support of its forthcoming show with The Lil Smokies, Rainbow Girls, and Royal Jelly Jive. The group will play a special Bay Area concert called Comatopia By The Bay, taking place at the UC Theatre (Berkeley, CA) on Friday, December 13, 2019.
The event is expected to showcase guest sit-ins, a big welcome jam open to public participation, and electrifying performances of the bands’ latest tunes and classics as well as a special community kinship. A stage design set out in the country and ready for a hoedown, Comatopia By The Bay captures the essence of an outdoor festival at one of the Bay Area’s finest music venues.
Morrison told American Songwriter that the song came to be because of real experiences.
“This song was a collaboration between my brother Alex, our friend and tour manager Joe Pacini and myself,” he said. “It’s about having a crush on someone you don’t have a chance with, but being ok with that. The ‘tops of the trees’ refrain is set in a beautiful place we all used to go camping called Burney Falls up in Northern California.”
The Brothers Comatose are firing on all cylinders with its new lineup featuring Ben Morrison (guitar, vocals) and Alex Morrison (banjo, vocals) alongside longtime violinist Philip Brezina as well as new members Scott Padden (bass, vocals) and Greg Fleischut (mandolin). The raucous bluegrass band is anything but a traditional acoustic string band with their live sets resembling stadium rock concerts and songwriting along the lines of Hank Williams mixed with The Rolling Stones. When the band is not headlining The Fillmore for a sold-out show or appearing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, The Brothers Comatose is in the studio with the likes of producer John Vanderslice or performing across the globe as cultural ambassadors for the US State Department’s American Music Abroad program.
The Lil Smokies present the same dynamic energy on stage as they do on their latest studio album, Changing Shades, showcasing the band’s distinct songwriting set amongst their bluegrass roots. The Lil Smokies — featuring Scott Parker on bass, Jake Simpson on fiddle, Matt Rieger on guitar, Matt Cornette on banjo, and Andy Dunnigan on dobro — won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition and took home the 2016 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year Award. They’ve gone on to wow fans at High Sierra, Telluride Bluegrass, DelFest, FloydFest, and venerable venues around the country.
Berkeley’s own Fieldwork Brewing Company will have several of their idiosyncratic beers on tap at The UC Theatre. Brewing an ever-evolving roster of highly aromatic and well-balanced beers, Fieldwork will pour their latest seasonal beers sure to delight craft beer fans while they enjoy some of the best string band pickers performing on the contemporary Americana music scene.
The show is expected to be an event that all ages and tastes can enjoy, according to Morrison.
“We’re really excited for our big show at the UC Theatre in Berkeley with our good friends and great bands The Lil Smokies, Royal Jelly Jive and Rainbow Girls,” he said. “We have our own festival called Comatopia but this year we had trouble finding a place to host it, so instead of a festival, we’re throwing a big ol’ party called ‘Comatopia by the Bay’ and bringing a bunch of our musical friends to make it really special. I can’t think of a better crew to share the stage with.”