Dish from the Diva: The Gefroh Brothers

By Amber Bernhardt

Jimmy Gefroh is so adorable he makes me want to punch a kitten. Then he starts talking…and even more kittens are subject to my involuntary violence. I was certain he was the hands down sweetest person I had ever met — until he introduced me to his little brother, Stephen.

Mr. and Mrs. Gefroh, though unwittingly putting kittens in jeopardy for decades, did something extremely right with these two angels.

Jimmy and Stephen Gefroh, known artistically as…wait for it…“The Gefroh Brothers,” are a young, fresh and simply fabulous musical pair from right here in Capital City, ND. One cuter than the next, these cherub faced dazzlers, with their broad shoulders and blonde curls, appear to have stepped right off the pages of an illustrated textbook on Greek Mythology. But their appeal doesn’t end there. Charming, polite, witty and ridiculously humble, they carry themselves with a confidence, grace and maturity that far exceeds their youthful innocence. Oh yeah…and they can sing.

I’ve seen my share of acoustic duos, plucking away in dark corners of restaurant bars, largely unnoticed and barely audible over the din of the dinner crowd. I, like most patrons, scarcely notice their presence. But there is no ignoring The Gefroh Brothers. Side by side at matching microphones, Jimmy strums his Art & Lutherie and harmonizes as Stephen demonstrates his admirable range in a rich and diverse set.

When I saw them perform, high above their fans on the balcony overlooking the packed Peacock Alley bar, I found myself compelled to wheel around and stare up at them, despite attention to my food and ice cold draft beer laid out in front of me. Very few things can cause me to turn my back on food but it wasn’t enough to simply hear The Gefroh Brothers. I’d sneak a bite and a sip, then some beautiful chord would return me to their attention and I’d observe as they moved in time together, watching each other for changes, smiling and nodding in encouragement, enjoyment and straight up smoothness. And I wasn’t alone in the adoration. Everyone in the joint was gazing aloft at them and the boys drew applause after every single song. If you listen to a lot of live music, you know how rare that really is.

A mere 19 and 21, respectively, Stephen and Jimmy have been playing together since early childhood, building a classy repertoire that fits perfectly in any setting and defies their age and experience. From contemporary pieces like “Hey Soul Sister” and “Not Over You,” to classic numbers including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Stuck in the Middle,” and peppering in a few perfectly constructed originals (check out “Carry On” on YouTube…just do it,) their storehouse of over 3 hours and 40 titles of lovely live music can entertain and engage any audience.

I left on the night The Gefroh Brothers performed, stuffed with delicious Asian inspired finger foods and satiated from eye and ear candy, sincerely hoping that these boys would disappoint their parents for the first time in their lives by giving up on “real jobs” and following their musical aspirations into poverty, depravity and eventual stardom. Separated by educational endeavors, their opportunities to perform together are too few and far between, which is a true tragedy. I very much look forward to their summer reunion and many balmy evenings spent enjoying their crooning with an Alaskan White Ale in my fist of fury. When that time comes, BisMan, join me around town for some beautiful, brilliant live music, emanating effortlessly from this must see band of brothers, so you can say you saw them when. And please, if you know what’s good for them, lock up your kittens.

For more information on The Gefroh Brothers find them on Facebook or YouTube. Check out Amber Rae’s blog at: http://redamberrae.wordpress.com/dive-bar-diva/. Also be sure to “like” Dive Bar Diva on Facebook, listen to her radio show on URL every other Wednesday at 4pm and watch her television segment Thursdays at 9pm on CATV12.

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