Country music being played today has an identity crisis; Brass Tacks were a little surprised to find out bar owners and venues couldn’t agree more by booking them to play their young, unique, and real sound. They have continued to bring their southern-rock, love-song, outlaw-country sound to all corners of the Oregon scene with a passion for music and an ever growing crowd.
The band started in 2014 when songwriter and frontman Andy Good met lead guitarist Eli Howard and harmonica player Cody Patey at a local open mic. The three were familiar with each other, Andy just stepping out into the music scene, and Eli and Cody having recently left their former band. “That’s how I’ve always envisioned that song sounding.” says Andy after playing an original of his for the first time, “and we instantly knew a new band had just formed after playing a single song together.”
The band was soon joined by drummer Eli Taghon, who’s heavy-hitting, in your face, but just right style of playing meshed seamlessly. “I’ve played with Taghon for over 8 years,” recalls Howard, “and he was in the same band as Cody and I prior to Brass Tacks so it wasn’t even a question of ‘who will the drummer be?’ it was Taghon.” The prior experience playing together was one of the key factors that helped get Brass Tacks on their feet onto stages so quickly.
Excited as they were with their new sound they didn’t let off the gas pedal, booking their first 4 hour live show a month later. By month 6 of being a band, they recorded their first album, The EP, and sold out of the initial 500 copies in two weeks. “We love this band,” says Sarah Quier, owner of the Wild Horse Bar & Grill, “we can always count on a crowd when they play and they put on a great show.” Local roadhouse and longest running honky-tonk bar manager Nic Rodio agrees, “Brass Tacks has such a unique sound. I get excited when it’s time to book them and when I know they’re going to play.”
Later, due to unforeseen circumstances bands sometimes must address, a new bass player was required. In steps Michael Fowler. A musician Eli Howard and Cody were familiar with, having attended high school together, heavily influenced by 90’s alternative music. Michael is a guitar player by trade, but when asked to pick up the bass and join Brass Tacks it was an immediate, “Yes!” and a wonderful fit from there on out.
While being very happy with their success and their devoted fans in Oregon, Brass Tacks has set their sights on the entire Pacific Northwest Region. They label their sound as Oregon Country but they know it won’t just be Oregon that will enjoy it. The band is currently in studio to record and release their first full length album, after which they are planning a tour from Southern California to Vancouver BC. “We just want to play at any opportunity we have, ” says Eli Howard, “I’ve never been in a band with this much potential and we’ll be damned if we let it go to waste.”
“Above all else,” says Andy Good, “we’re about family, friends and the music. That’s where I draw my inspiration from when writing. The hard working people of Oregon, the love I have for my family and my girlfriend Lynn, and a couple band mates that sometimes I may want to strangle, but will always be my friends. We love what we do. Sure we hope some day it’ll pay the bills, but even if it doesn’t, we won’t stop playing our songs.”