First/Last – The Beagle Brothers

August 1, 2017

“The hardest working band in Pittsburgh. The Beagle Brothers have been Pittsburgh’s premiere country
band for over 10 years. They are the foundation of the “Bloomfield Sound,” which mixes honky-tonk and classic country with an accelerated, high energy performance.”

The Beagle Brothers area Pittsburgh institution. Don’t believe me? They have their own day in the City of Pittsburgh (December 12th, 2015.) They are the house band up in Punxsutawney during the annual Groundhog Day festivities. They even made the cover of the City Paper to mark the release of their 4th album, Dancers of the Drunken Two-Step. Now the Brothers are set to release their latest offering entitled Hearts Go By this Friday (8/4) with a banger at Howler’s bringing along blog faves André Costello and the Cool Minors and Kayla Schureman for the ride. Much thanks to Ezra Smith (Drums), Gabriel Smith (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar). Kyle Kline (Bass), Noah Smith (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), and Read Connolly (Pedal Steel) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Ezra Smith: Beggars & Thieves – Beggars & Thieves.
  • Gabriel Smith: Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry.
  • Kyle Kline: Michael Jackson – Thriller.
  • My memory of this is foggy, but my mother clearly remembers the night we purchased the cassette at National Record Mart.
  • Noah Smith: Starship – Knee Deep in the Hoopla.
  • Read Connolly: “Weird Al” Yankovic – Bad Hair Day. I liked it so much, I bought it twice, so I could have a cassette version to play in the car.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Ezra: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Living with the Living.
  • Gabriel: The Biters – The Future Ain’t What I Used to Be.
  • Kyle: The Sons of the Pioneers – Cool
  • Water and Seventeen Timeless Western Favorites. Total “old man” crooner Country and I love it!
  • Noah: Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker.
  • Read: Charley Pride – In Person.
  • I’ve been obsessing over the pedal steel playing by Lloyd Green on this record. Last week I found a mint copy on the shelves at Jerry’s Records for $3. Miss you already, Jerry.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Ezra: The Clash – London Calling.
  • Gabriel: Rocket From the Crypt – RFTC or The Hellacopters – Rock and Roll Is Dead.
  • Kyle: Lately it’s been a toss-up between Fela Kuti – The Best of the Black President and Merle Haggard and the Strangers
  • – Swinging Doors…
  • Noah: Urge Overall – Exit the Dragon.
  • Read: I’m too mercurial to commit to a favorite record. My favorite right now is Nicole Atkins – Goodnight Rhonda Lee.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Ezra: The Dismemberment Plan – Change.
  • Gabriel: Robbie Fulks – Upland Stories or Happy.
  • Kyle: I was excited about Drake – VIEWS, but thought it ended up being a dud.
  • Noah: Weezer – Blue Album.
  • Read: Most recently, Katy Perry – Witness.
  • I am a big fan of her last two records, especially her work with Max Martin.
  • They’ve made great pop music together! Unfortunately, Witness has none of the fun or staying power of her last two records.
  • First concert attended?
  • Ezra: The Everly Brothers.
  • Gabriel: The Everly Brothers.
  • Kyle: Tommy Page / Sweet Sensation / Linear at the Crawford County Fair. Someone came onstage during Sweet Sensation’s set to let them know their single had just hit #1.
  • Noah: The Everly Brothers.
  • Read: “Weird Al” Yankovic at the E-Centre in Camden, New Jersey.
  • Last concert?
  • Ezra: Robbie Fulks.
  • Gabriel: Neurosis / Converge.
  • Kyle: Neurosis / Converge.
  • Noah: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
  • Read: Nikki Lane.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Ezra: The Posies (2005) at Grog Shop in Cleveland.
  • Gabriel: Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Faith No More.
  • Kyle: Guns N’ Roses, Femi Kuti, Nick Cave: all amazing, all seen within the last year.
  • Noah: Bad Religion (1995) at Metropol.
  • Read: The Marked Men with Kim Phuc opening at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Both bands played early and late sets, it was an awesome day.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Ezra: Riot Fest 2011.
  • Gabriel: Riot Fest 2011.
  • Kyle: Riot Fest 2011.
  • Noah: Michael Bolton.
  • Read: B.B. King at the Benedum Center. I don’t want to speak ill of the dead… RIP.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Ezra: Partying in the iced-over streets of Bloomfield after the Steelers’ 2005 Super Bowl victory; watching the city grow and change in the 15 years since I started college here.
  • Gabriel: Playing music with my brothers and closest friends. Seeing new vegan restaurants pop up in the city.
  • Kyle: Making music with my best friends, playing in front of 20,000 people at 4 AM, “Beagle Brothers Day,” playing “Big River” with Bill Peduto, stage diving/crowd surfing at Pittonkatonk and Howlers, running the Great Race and the Half Marathon.
  • Noah: First Karl Hendricks sighting after moving to Bloomfield in 2005, Slim Cessna at the Sunday Night Hayride, Johnny Cash Day, Using my awkward flirting skills to court a particular Whole Foods cashier, the birth of my daughter.
  • Read: The 2013 National League Wild Card game, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016 and 2017, Working with Rick Sebak, Learning how to remodel a kitchen, Being made fun of on “The Daily Show” with my best friends.

Thanks, fellas. Very cool resume there, guys. Friday should be a blast. Here’s a fun fact, I technically saw you for the first time in 2006 as I walked in Belvedere’s during the last few seconds of your final song. To this day, I am still miffed that I missed your set.