You are here
The Wolfe Brothers
2012 has been a big year for The Wolfe Brothers. Hailing from the city of Hobart in Southern Tasmania, the group comprising of brothers Nick and Tom Wolfe and their childhood friends, Casey Kostiuk and Brodie Rainbird, have burst into the national spotlight after they appeared on Channel 7’s mega series Australia’s Got Talent.
The band’s incredible live performances of all original songs on the show electrified not only the judges and the studio audience but they won over millions of Australians watching from their living rooms every week. It was the Australian public who adopted the band and voted The Wolfe Brothers into 2nd place in the Grand Final of the nationally televised talent competition. An amazing feat for a country rock act.
“Excellent musos, excellent songs, excellent showmanship, it’s just real Aussie Country Rock… You deserve to be on this stage,” said Judge Brian McFadden. The Wolfe Brothers were the only band in the shows seven-year history to make it to the Grand Finals.
For Tom and Nick playing music is not so much a choice as a tradition. The pair represents the fourth generation of Wolfes to grow up on the family farm in Longley, southwest of Hobart, and the third to play in a band. “Our grandfather formed the Wolfe Family Orchestra – which included our grandmother, and our dad, who joined when he was 12 years old,” explains Tom. “Then my dad had his own band, called Midnight Revival – and my brother Nick joined that when he was about 13. Music has always been part of my memories. I just fell in love with it as a child – we all just love it, the whole family. I remember Nick and I would be working on the farm after school and then we’d get in the car with dad and go to the sound-check. We’d help with the sound-check and then, if we’d been good, we could play on stage for five minutes afterwards.”
For Tom and Nick, however, the biggest early influence wasn’t their father or grandfather, it was their mother. “Mum was probably a bigger influence than anyone,” says Tom. “She doesn’t play, but she always had music on around the house, all the time. The house was filled with the sounds of Lee Kernaghan and John Farnham – both still really big favourites of ours.”
When Tom reached the age of 13, his brother took leave of his dad’s band and the pair teamed up. Their first gig – as the fledgling The Wolfe Brothers – took place at the pub in the tiny township of Margate, not far from Longley. “We didn’t know if anyone would even turn up,” says Tom. “But friends and family got behind us and we had 300 in the room. It all took off from there.”
Since these early days Tom and his elder brother Nick, together with good mates Brodie Rainbird and Casey Kostiuk, have long been a popular feature of Tassie’s pub circuit. As the quartet of mates grew up together through their high school years they formed numerous bands with Nick and Brodie getting into the glam rock style of music and Tom and Casey preferring the heavier sound of Metal music.
Then the four close mates and neighbours since childhood merged all these influences, styles, live show experiences and love of music and came together to form what Australian music industry veteran Steve White, described as “the best country rock band to come out of Australia for over 3 decades and the most exciting country rock band to come out of Australia – ever.”
Since the release of their self- titled debut E.P in May 2010 (released digitally June 23, 2010) The Wolfe Brothers have been hard at work. Their powerful live show and consistent touring schedule has gained the band a fiercely loyal following around Tasmania.
And they’ve now signed a record deal with Australia’s leading supporter of recorded country music, ABC Music - the label home of Australian Country Stars including Lee Kernaghan, Sara Storer, McAlister Kemp, Jasmine Rae and Catherine Britt.
“We’re a country rock band who actually make country music that rocks!” laughs Tom Wolfe. And that pretty much sums up what audiences can expect when the Wolfe Brothers hit the road on their first National Tour in 2013.
The band is now signed to Stephen White Management, the company that manages the careers of Australian country music legend Lee Kernaghan and also the multi award-winning sister group The McClymonts.
Stephen White said "I am so excited about adding The Wolfe Brothers to my small and exclusive list of clients. One of my criteria in signing an act is that they must be unique, credible and incredible. The Wolfe Brothers are all these things. It is so important for the Australian country music genre to produce a country rock outfit that has international potential to grow the fan base of our exciting industry here in Australia and bring in new fans to country music, just as it has occurred in the USA. These boys tick all the boxes for me and I believe they are in for a great ride over the coming years."
After White finalized his management negotiations with the band he showed Lee Kernaghan a video of the boys playing live on Australia’s Got Talent. White said "The last time Lee saw an act that impressed him so much that he instantly said he wanted to take them out on the road on his entire national tour, was when we first saw The McClymonts in Tamworth when they were starting out. So I set up a meeting and Lee had a jam with the band. After playing only one song with Lee they were invited not only be the special guests for the entire Beautiful Noise Tour, but they will also make up a large part of Lee's band on the tour."
Tom Wolfe said "When we found ourselves in a rehearsal studio in Sydney with Lee, performing his songs and he was actually singing with us, we had to seriously pinch ourselves to confirm this was all actually happening. We have covered Lee's songs in bars, pubs and at parties for years. To look up and see the man with the hat singing with us was completely surreal. Mum is one of his biggest fans. To now be going on tour with him as his support act and then to play with him in his show is totally mind blowing. The experience we will gain from being with Lee is priceless and we are so pumped about being able to get around Australia to thank all the people who supported us on the TV show. We know it is the people from all over Australia who voted for us who have made this dream of ours come true. They are the ones who voted us into the spotlight to make all this happen for us. We are the same band who grew up together and who have been playing pubs around Tassie for years for a few hundred bucks and some beer. Now we can make music our lives and profession. It is all just so exciting. We are bursting at the seams to get out there and play. We are also so grateful to everyone in Tassie who have kept us going over the years and who gave us the confidence to have a crack at auditioning for the show. This support will never be forgotten".
The band had a baptism of fire at their first show with Lee only 4 days after their first rehearsal with him. They found themselves on stage at the Deniliquin Ute Muster with Kernaghan performing to 25,000 screaming country music fans. On the same weekend they filmed Lee’s new video for ‘Beautiful Noise’ with him.
The Wolfe Brothers release their debut album It’s On during the Tamworth Country Music festival on January 18. The album has been mixed and co-produced by Nashville hit-maker Luke Wooten who produces US superstar Dierks Bentley. Wooten also produced a number of tracks on The McClymonts latest album.
The first single from the album is the title track, ‘It’s On’ was released to media in November, 2012.
To coincide with the release of the single the band toured with Lee Kernaghan on the Dwight Yoakam Australian Tour during November.
The Wolfe Brothers are the real deal. Like so many before them, they are the product of the Aussie pub and club scene, working hard for years, honing their craft and eventually breaking through to become……an “overnight success” ? Hardly overnight, certainly a success - with a great future ahead of them.
So watch out world – IT’S ON!