Joshua and James had been playing music together, improvising and learning from mutual favorite artists, for years before the death of a dear friend launched the two of them into a deeper and more tethered friendship. Out of that time of deep yet childlike friendship coupled with heavy grief the band’s first album, Say, was written. An honest and holistic look at the lives of the two around that time, Say wasn’t really intended to be the stepping stone it became. In fact, it was recorded long before any Brother’s Bear songs would be performed live. But the process launched James and Joshua into a series of progressively more intentional endeavors, most recently writing a second album.
Joshua has played guitars, keys, double bass, percussion, and most notably banjo with us, and writes some of the tunes. By day, he works in prisoner education, and he spends some of his days doing ABA therapy with kindergartners on the autism spectrum on the side. Otherwise, you can find him backpacking or snuggled up with his lovely dog bingeing Marvel comics. Joshua’s biggest influences are Ryan O’Neil (of Sleeping at Last) and Michael Gungor.
James plays acoustic guitar (and sometimes banjo!) with us, and is the primary songwriter for Brother’s Bear. When he’s not hard at work with the band (or hard at work with work), you can usually find James outdoors in a duck blind or a deer stand. His most prominent musical inspirations are Tom T. Hall, Seth Avett, and David Ramirez. James also happens to be super colorblind.
Nelson started playing with us to fill in for a few shows, and has been around for a little over a year since then! He met the band through the School of Music at LSU, where he and Joshua were in the same double bass studio. When his hands aren’t filled with a bass, you can probably find Nelson studying Classic literature or crushing some DnD.
Guillermo has been playing cello with us last fall after filling the gap while we were searching for a violinist. Before moving to Baton Rouge, he played in orchestras at home in San Jose, Costa Rica. He’s super into coffee (more than anyone else you will ever meet, probably), photography, and traveling.