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The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love

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The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love started out in Brighton, MI, in the mid-'90s as a duo of brothers, Jamie and Tim Monger, dubbed the Original Brothers of Love. Each had played in and led many local bands before forming one together and had previously collaborated only when working on the many four-track recordings of their hometown friend, the Gok, prompting and participating in Gok's improvised songs and sketches with the help of Casios, guitars, and other friends. The Monger brothers actually took their new band's name from a Gok song in which he chants "the original brothers and sisters of love" during the chorus. Tim and Jamie Monger are both singer/songwriter guitarists who have added various instruments to their repertoire over the years, including harmonica, mandolin, and keyboards.

After releasing two cassettes, the Original Brothers of Love began playing acoustic shows in the nearby town of Ann Arbor beginning in the fall of 1996, and started recording what would eventually become The Legende of Jeb Minor. Not too long after they began performing live, the brothers gained a drummer in the form of firefighter Martin Juarez, followed by the addition of hometown friend and guitarist/vocalist Greg McIntosh. The quartet began gigging more often and moved to Ann Arbor, while still working periodically on their recording. Spring 1998 brought the addition of another hometown friend and past musical collaborator, bassist Scott McClintock. Less than a year later, during a recording session in early 1999, the band invited Liz Auchinvole to add high vocal harmonies and violin tracks. The collaboration worked out so well that the New Zealander was asked to join the band.

Fall of 1999 brought the long-awaited release of TOBASOL's debut CD, The Legende of Jeb Minor, on Detroit-area label Planet Ant. By the time of the album's release, however, drummer Martin Juarez was no longer with the band, focusing instead on his new Beatles-themed restaurant. Providing percussion during the interim between Juarez and the band's next drummer, Fido Kennington, was an area musician preparing to leave for the West Coast, Josh Tillinghast, who had previously played drums and bass in Poignant Plecostomus and Larval, respectively. Members of the Original Brothers and Sisters of Love also appeared on other area musicians' recordings including Jim Roll's Ready to Hang and Brian Lillie's Good Luck Fire Chief. In April 2000, TOBASOL's debut album was reissued nationally on their new label, The Telegraph Company. A year later, the band wrapped up recording its follow-up, H.O.M.E.S., Vol. I, and headed down to Texas to perform at the annual festival South by Southwest.

The second album was released in August 2001, while the band toured the U.S. for two months. The album drew upon the locales and experiences of living in Michigan, from the title — an acronym kids are taught to help remember the names of the surrounding Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior — to songs about Michigan's winters and the demise of Detroit's Tiger Stadium. The group disbanded in 2003 after violinist Auchinvole relocated to Toronto, but re-formed as a quintet under the name Great Lakes Myth Society the following year.

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