Travers Brothership brings the funk for Christmas

Fred McCormick

Closing out a big year with a performance benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the Orange Peel feels good to the Travers Brothership, the eight-piece band that has been delivering funk to Western North Carolina for the past three years.

The band caps a year in which it reached new heights with a 2:30 p.m. Dec. 12 performance at the One Stop in Asheville. It will play a set during Christmas Jam by Day, presented by Grammy Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Warren Haynes.

The band, named for twin brothers and founding members Kyle and Eric Travers, will be one of 10 local bands playing hour-long sets.

The One Stop, on Patton Avenue in downtown Asheville, is in the building that houses the Asheville Music Hall.

“The Christmas Jam is one of the things that gave us hope about the music scene in general,” Eric said. “The four of us that were in the old Travers Brothers band went to the Jam two years in a row when we were 15. We got to see the Allman Brothers, Ben Harper, Tal Wilkenfeld, Warren Haynes and all of our heroes.”

The experience helped inspire the brothers to form what has evolved into one of the region’s busiest bands, one that blends various genres of music.

“We were raised here, and the music history in this region has really influenced us,” Eric said. “A lot of great music comes from the Southeast, and we’re a melting pot of all of that music here in Asheville. This area is the next big music scene. We’re excited to be a part of that.”

The seven-member band includes a horn section composed of Kyle Snuffer, Alex Bradley and Dean Mitchell, collectively known as The Brothership Horns.

During Christmas Jam by Day, the trio will also play with Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats (at noon).

The Travers Brothership has continued to establish itself as a prominent member of the area’s music scene, having played between 50-60 shows in 2015, including several with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band.

“In 2015 we played our first show with Booty Band, and we were stoked to play with them in Johnson City,” Eric said. “From then on things have just continued to come along for us.”

The Brothership was one of the featured acts for the Pisgah Brewing Co.’s 10th anniversary party in April.

A Thanksgiving party hosted by the band Nov. 28 attracted more than 150 people to the venue.

“Pisgah is like another home to us,” Eric said. “That’s our hometown spot. They have been very supportive of us.”

More recognition close to home came when the band was selected to play on the main stage at the spring LEAF festival.

“A lot of our dreams have been coming true this year,” Eric said. “We got to play two sets at LEAF. That was a great feeling, since we went to school right down the road from where the festival is held every year.”