The Ugly Valley Boys Have Classic Style Beyond Music
Some folks chase whatever the hot classic retro style or trend is at the moment, whether in appearance or music, because that is what is cool or hip at the time. And then you have other folks who are classic individuals because that’s the only way they can feel comfortable in their own skin. They’re old souls, trapped in a modern world and young bodies. The latter types tend to make great musicians, because their adherence to the old school way is natural. It is not a discipline or a put on, it is who they are.
This is what could be said for guitar player and songwriter Ryan Eastlyn, and upright bass player Braxton Brandenburg of the 2-piece Ugly Valley Boys. Their album Double Down was one of the big surprises of 2011, partly because of how they’re able to evoke such a deep, classic sound in their music. When you look at what the two men do when they’re not appearing on stage, it only makes sense that the vintage vibes come naturally.
As implied in the lyrics of their “Yesterday” song: “Well the Ugly Valley Boys are in the back of the neon shop,” Ryan Eastlyn is a genuine old-school classic neon glass blower and bender for Brimley Neon in Salt Lake City, focusing on reproduction and restoration.
“As a young child, I first recall the rose glow of a far off neon sign.” Ryan remembers. “It’s shine jumped from the dark, Pacific Northwest pines and still burns in my thoughts today. Little did I know that later in life I would work in the sign industry with an emphasis on preserving and recreating these very works of art. I was first introduced to glass bending by my father-in-law David Brimley in 1997. Started in 1930, The Brimley Brothers were one of the first neon sign shops in Salt Lake City. I’ve spent the last 15 years building and restoring vintage neon signs. Today, I’m the head glass bender representing the fourth generation of a family engaged in this time-honored craft.”
For Ryan Eastlyn, his appreciation for classic neon and classic music comes from the same vein.
“I’m naturally drawn to hats with holes, broken signs, lonely, forgotten towns, and old timey music. I respect the past and the back breaking work it took to build our beautiful country. Many people, like myself, hold a connection to the early days by surrounding themselves with nostalgic items, and that includes good, old fashioned, heartfelt music; things that have survived the test of time. The further I voyage back into music from the past, be it country, blues, swing or jazz, the more often I hear the sound of true music, made by real people.”
I guess I’m in the preservation business, of both song and sign.
Not to be outdone, bass player Braxton Brandenburg has his own off-stage passion for the by-gone art of being a barber.
“Ive always had a passion for the barber trade ever since I was young. Growing up as a young kid going to the barber shop I was always intrigued with the decor, social atmosphere and the relaxed feeling. Years passed by, some college, dead end jobs kept coming my way. Since I moved around a lot after moving away from home, there were never any barber schools or apprentice opportunities until I moved to Salt Lake City. I worked for a couple other shops and recently opened my own shop and feel lucky that I can do things the way I want and keep the traditions of the Barber Trade going.”
“I find an interesting paradox with my trade and music. Both consist of a social atmosphere. The same look I see on people’s faces when I look into a crowd during a good show is the exact same look I see when someone looks in the mirror after a great haircut. I enjoy making people happy. Everything that I do as far as my shop, how its decorated, the music coming out of the Philco Radio, the type of music Ryan and I play just kind of happened organically and nothing has ever been forced. I find it important to hold on to the great things in our past, and that definatly inspires how I run my barber shop and how I play my music.”
Ryan Eastlyn and Braxton Brandenburg show off their other passions in a new music video for “Yesterday”, and will be taking time from hair cutting and glass blowing to take a tour through the West and Midwest in April.
Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah, Saturday, March 31st
VIVA LAS VEGAS!
Las Vegas, Nevada, Sunday, April 8th
Piper Down w/Calamity Cubes
Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, April 12th
Three Kings Tavern
Denver, Colorado, Sunday, April 15th
Rock Island Live
Wichita, Kansas, Friday, April 16th
Davey’s Uptown Rambler Club
Kansas City, Missouri, Tuesday, April 17th
The Blue Fugue
Columbia, Missouri, Wednesday, April 18th
New Hampshire Bar
Quincy, Illinois, Thursday, April 19th
Lansing, Michigan, Sunday, April 22nd
Reggie’s Rock Club
Chicago, Illinois, Monday, April 23rd
Linneman’s Reverwest Inn
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Tuesday, April 24th
Rock Island, Illinois Thursday, April 26th
West Yellowstone, Montana Sunday, July 22nd
April 15-26 will be with Graham Lindsey, April 16-18 with the Calamity Cubes, and April 24th with Joseph Huber. More dates are also in the works.
March 15, 2012 @ 8:45 am
Thanks Trigger Man for the great write-up.. Just to let ppl know, April 15-26 we will be with the great Graham Lindsey!! April 16-18 we will also be sharing the stage with the Calamity Cubes, and April 24th with Joseph Huber!! Couple more dates are also in the works!! Thanks again and hope to see everyone out!!
March 15, 2012 @ 11:39 am
Cool! Info added up top!
March 15, 2012 @ 12:51 pm
Just added! April 27th @The Freemont in Des Moines, Iowa. w/ St. Christopher + Bob Tyler & The Restless Hearts.
April 28th @ The Garage in Kearney, Nebraska. w/ St. Christopher
March 15, 2012 @ 10:24 am
Great Band and Great guys!!! The Ugly Valley Boys are truth.
March 15, 2012 @ 10:28 am
Is one of them also playing drums in the song above?
March 15, 2012 @ 2:02 pm
Ryan plays kick drum and high-hat as well
March 15, 2012 @ 12:37 pm
no that’s what i’m talkin’ about! another good one. thanks, man.
March 15, 2012 @ 4:36 pm
oops. “now”. always proof read.
March 15, 2012 @ 5:51 pm
Glad to see The Ugly Valley Boys gettin some attention! The cd is fuckin awsome… I love ” alotta guns” one of my favorite tracks of 2011. If u havent heard em yet u gotta get the album. Cant wait to see em at Farmageddon Fest. Keep up the good work boys!
carrie left mike fisher for me
March 16, 2012 @ 4:44 am
are yall really this bored to listen to this indy garbage?legends like jones,haggard,charley pride,ronnie milsap,mel street are good enough for me.
let me guess they got played on the radio so yall dont like them indy losers
March 16, 2012 @ 7:34 am
They’re from Utah, not Indiana.
March 16, 2012 @ 11:16 am
Jones, I think he is trying to imply that we are an INDIE rock band or something.
March 16, 2012 @ 11:10 am
thats the funniest thing ive heard all day!
March 16, 2012 @ 7:00 am
Double down was incredible. I’ve never heard anything that sounds quite like it. Definitely one of my favorites of the year. I’m looking forward to hearing more from these guys.
Chris Lewis "Louie"
March 16, 2012 @ 8:17 am
I bought their album earlier this week and have enjoyed every minute of it.
March 18, 2012 @ 7:42 am
I love this album. When I first got it I listened to it non stop for a week. Now I still pop it in once a week. It puts a smile on my face everytime.
Honest Charlie's Productions
March 18, 2012 @ 1:53 pm
very cool article.. Recently I wondered about what makes artists like this tick. In particular when watching a few videos of Frank Fairfield I found myself wondering what is this guy like when he is not on the stage? If you have never seen Frank Fairfield check him out and you’ll know what I mean. I really dig this band and I hope to get them on film when they come my area.. thanks for the article
March 21, 2012 @ 8:09 pm
Read the post and downloaded the album. Thanks for introducing me to another great band!
March 29, 2012 @ 8:02 am
What a stellar right up about these two fellas! “Double Down” is by far the best album I’ve heard in a long time. Which I purchased from the fine folks at Farmageddon Records long ago. http://www.newrootsorder.com SO…get a copy if ya don’t already. I literally give ‘er a listen on a daily basis cause it’s just that Good!! Hope to catch them when they hit the Midwest w/ Graham!
March 29, 2012 @ 8:32 am
I meant “write-up” =)
Cheers all !