Artists Picking Artists – Andrew Oliver of Brother Oliver

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  • May 13, 2020
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Brett Barest

One of my favorite things (and most unexpected) about this series is how many artists have reached out to me offering their own list of their favorite local and regional acts. This week marks the third such list in a row, this time courtesy or Brother Oliver’s Andrew Oliver.

Brother Oliver is an act I have been following for a long time, even back when Andrew was playing solo gigs around town while his brother Stephen was still wrapping up with school back home in Michigan. In the years since, I have watched as they evolved into a full band, opened up for The Steve Miller Band at The Peace Center, and won the Artist of the Year award at the inaugural Upstate Music Awards earlier this year. Andrew put his own spin on this series by not just naming a band he was fond of, but going as far as to pick a track for you to start with. Without further ado, let us get down to business…

Either / Or – “Wound Up”

Andrew says: “There’s some songs that inexplicably “hit just right”—almost as if they’re infused with some kind of emotional adrenaline. This song by Either / Or has that, and it’s honestly one of my favorite songs in general from the last couple years, not just locally.

The closing lyrics are so incredible to me: ‘We’re saving each other every day. With no pills or drugs, this is the old fashion way.’

Shyland Flowers – “For the Wire”

Andrew says: “If you like authentic, real, lyrical rap—this song is a shining light. Shyland’s vocal command is incredible with the perfect touch of vulnerability. Plus, the track is full of references from the HBO TV series The Wire—a true classic. RIP, Omar.”

Phat Lip – “Coyote”

Andrew says: “I saw them perform this live at the UMA’s and I was memorized. I remember thinking to myself, “I’d buy a ticket to a show just to see this one song.” They’re an incredibly talented group of some of Greenville’s finest musicians, fronted by one of Greenville’s most commanding female vocalists (if not the most).”

Finding Freedom – “Wasted”

Andrew says: “These guys are some of the most genuine people I know, and it shows in their music and at their shows. They rock out and know how to not take things too seriously. The guitar solo in this song particularly slaps. When it’s about to start it’s a ‘Here we go dude…’ moment every time.”

Niel Brooks – “The Universe Is No Narrow Thing”

Andrew says: “Niel puts out some of the most intriguing and well-crafted folk music in the area. This song in particular just sucks me in, and the production is spot on. The mix is downright proper. His catalog is incredible, so explore all of it.”

George Sweet – “Riverwind”

Andrew says: “George Sweet is known as a bassist for a few different bands in the area (my band Brother Oliver included). But some people don’t know that he’s a published (and acclaimed) classical composer. His work is a reflection of who he is—meaningful, brilliant, and so worth diving into. “

And one more pick that I would like to add…

Brother Oliver – “I Rely On Everything”

If my memory serves me correctly, this is one of the first Brother Oliver tracks that made me realize these guys were onto something and, years later, it is still one of my favorite songs of theirs. I am starting here for nostalgia’s sake but, really, wherever you start in the Brother Oliver catalog will take you to some pretty amazing places.

We have at least a few more weeks, if not longer, before we can even begin to have the conversation about live shows again so, artists, feel free to send me your lists to bbarest@gmail.com or share your stories about the shows that most influenced your musical journey at iOnGreenville. Thanks for reading and we will see you back here next week.

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