Columbus Irish: And the Bands Play On

Columbus Irish: And the Bands Play On
by Molly Truex

Ohio is filled with great music; the Irish that we love, and ties to just about every other form too.  Country, Rock, Blues, Jazz … the connections are now worldwide. Following, we continue our peak at Central Ohio area bands worth seeing, with Brave the Sea, and Dogwood Road.

Brave the Sea
OhioIANews: How was Brave the Sea formed, how long have you been together?

In the summer of 2015, Matt Toskin got together with Will John, Matt Bibler, and Nick Phillips and started A Pirate’s Life, which was a Celtic Rock cover band with a pirate theme. After writing some original material and treading further away from the pirate theme, the band recruited Vito Gambil on vocals, Ryan Boggs on bass, and Dennis Berendts, who stepped in to replace Nick on drums. The first album is named after the old band’s name.

Brave the Sea

OhioIANews: Have each of you always been musicians or just started?

Each of us have always played music in some capacity. Dennis has the longest tenure in the band, having played in several hardcore bands over the years, including Black Dove, Vile Gash, and Nukkehammer. Will and Ryan both used to be in a Rock band called New Contagion.

OhioIANews: What has been your most memorable gig?

There have been a lot of amazing shows that we’ve played over the years; I’m sure each member would have a different answer. One that sticks out to me (Matt T) was being able to play our hometown, Newark Ohio’s, first annual LGBTQ Pride celebration. We’re all pretty passionate about our hometown and also try and be advocates for love and equality. Being able to be a part of our town’s history in that way and seeing so many people come together was super cool.

OhioIANews: What is your best memory, non-show related?

We had a Baltimore, MD gig close to Christmas one year and four of us decided to drive there and back the same day (yeah we know, yikes). The four of us who headed home still stayed for most of the show, but that meant we didn’t depart until after 10 PM.
We were all starving and “hangry” at each other. I had just missed an exit which made things worse, but it luckily lead us to a specialty pizza place that was the only open restaurant we had seen since leaving downtown, and it was so delicious.We never go to Baltimore without getting Pasta Mista now.

OhioIANews: What genre of music do you play the most?

As a band, we try and keep everything close to some sort of Celtic feel as possible. When we’re not playing our music, though, all of us are all pretty into metal. A typical band bus ride contains a good portion of bands like Unleash the Archers, Iron Maiden, and Blind Guardian. A few members are also really into 90s Country. I can’t vouch for it, but I’ve heard it enough on road trips.

OhioIANews: How have you all been staying busy during the Stay at Home order?

I think we’re each focusing on our own things for now. We hesitate risking practicing together too much and our inconsistent technology across members makes it hard to do quality group live streams. It seems like each of us have had a lot of time and have written some cool things.
Things suck right now, but I really do think we as a band are going to have some of the most creative and collaborative music coming out of this.

OhioIANews: What is your dream gig?

I think each of us would be tickled to be even in the same venue as Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphy. In a genre as niche as ours, it’s clear who the top dogs are and what the “dream gig” definitely looks like.

OhioIANews: If people want to come to see you where can they find listings of your shows?

We keep our Facebook up to date with shows, but they can also visit our website at www.bravetheseaband.com.

DogWood Road
OhioIANews: How was Dogwood Road formed, how long have you been together?
Under the name Dogwood Road, we have only been around since late 2017. Prior to that we performed under the name Wohlwend & Moore and that started in 2014.
Dogwood Road formed as an offshoot of the band Two2Many. Tyler Moore and Karl Wohlwend both live in Columbus OH, while the other members lived in Cincinnati. There were several small performance opportunities that made more sense for a duo to play and that sparked the idea of putting something more permanent together.
The two bands, Two2Many and Dogwood Road, coexisted very well, and even though Two2Many disbanded officially at the Dublin Irish Festival in 2018, Dogwood Road has been honored to have their former band mates join them from time to time.

OhioIANews: Have each of you always been musicians or just started?
Both of us have been musicians from the very start. We both started playing our respective instruments in grade school and continued through college earning degrees in Music Performance, though not at the same time or in the same place. We have both played professionally in other groups and genres, from Classical to Jazz to Rock and of course Irish or Celtic. Aside from Two2Many, Karl and Tyler have also performed with other Celtic bands; Knot Fibbin and Homeland, respectively.

OhioIANews: What has been your most memorable gig?
It’s to say that the most memorable gig as Dogwood Road would be our first CD Release party at Byrne’s Pub. It was a fantastic gig, members of Knot Fibbin’ came up on stage with us, and we were surrounded by some of our best friends and fans.

OhioIANews: What is your best memory, non-show related?
Not on stage, I think we can agree that our best memories come from the trips to the gigs. Being on the road, stuck in a car for hours could be dreadful, but we do a lot of talking and brainstorming then. We’ve had some of our best conversations and said some of the dumbest things we ever hope to forget while in the car on the way to a gig.

OhioIANews: What genre of music do you play the most?
Dogwood Road is obviously an Irish group, so that’s easy there. As individuals it’s tough to say. As mentioned earlier, both of us have degrees in music performance, Classical performance, and we have both performed our fair share of Classical repertoire, but we have both also performed with several other bands: Rock, Celtic Rock, Klesmer, Flamenco, Jazz. Most of our teaching is Classical in nature; technique and repertoire. So on a daily basis it’s possible we play more Classical material, but it’s fair to say that the lion’s share of our performing is Irish and Original compositions.

OhioIANews: How have you all been staying busy during the Stay at Home order?
Practicing, putting together online shows, playing outside for people to hear, as well as continuing to teach private lessons. We both teach lessons and have moved to online formats during all of this, though we look forward to actually seeing our students again. It’s not easy, or as much fun, to teach through a screen.

OhioIANews: What is your dream gig?
The next one? Ha! We would love the chance to play in Milwaukee. We’d also love the chance to open for other larger groups here in Columbus, or anywhere really. The real dream is to have regular gigs that allow us to grow as a group and further the excitement for the genre. One big gig would be nice, but steady gigs are the goal.

OhioIANews: If people want to come to see you where can they find listings of your shows?
We post all of our shows online on our Facebook page, including our regular Friday Happy Hour, 6pm on Facebook Live.

 

 

 

 

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