The Baldwin BrothersView in iTunes
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Despite sharing monikers with one of Hollywood's most famous acting clans, the groove-based electronic group the Baldwin Brothers (aka drummer/programmer Jason Hinkle and keyboardist T.J. Widner) actually got their name from a childhood in-joke: as kids in Kokomo, IN, the duo used "Baldwin" as a term for someone "in-the-know." Hinkle and Widner also began their musical careers when they were children, with Hinkle picking up guitar at age eight and Widner learning piano at six. After playing in various bands throughout high school and college, in the mid-'90s Hinkle and Widner reunited in Chicago and began playing and recording together again as the Baldwin Brothers. The duo's music mixed Widner's vintage Fender Rhodes with lounge, funk, jazz, and dance influences, and gradually, the group made a name for themselves by appearing on local compilations and the club circuit. In 2001, the Baldwin Brothers released their debut EP, Funk Shui. After adding bassist Jimmy Deer and turntablist JB Royal to the fold, the group issued 2002's full-length Cooking With Lasers, which also featured contributions from the Pulsars' Dave Trumfio, Gorillaz, Cibo Matto vocalist Miho Hatori, and Frente!'s Angie Hart. After a long period of touring and recording, the group finally re-emerged in 2006 with their second album for TVT, Return of the Golden Rhodes. The album featured guest appearances from Mark Lanegan, Wrekked Train (from Lo Fidelity Allstars), and Lisa Kekaula of the BellRays. ~ Heather Phares