Blood Brother is a Minnesota-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He uses this specific combination of skills to simultaneously perform all of the parts of his compositions live using instruments and mechanical contraptions he has designed and built. His dynamic, sweeping voice has drawn comparisons to Thom Yorke, while the sonic texture of his music is reminiscent of Neko Case's Blacklisted, with catchy but smart arrangements that evoke The Beatles or Elliott Smith.
When he was younger, Blood Brother (Philip Westfall) and his brother developed a special connection through composing. After Nathan passed away unexpectedly, Philip tried but struggled to find a way to continue with composing and performing. He studied luthiery, ultimately heading research and development at Gold Tone in Florida. While there, he began to design an instrument that was a cross between a bass and a guitar, enabling him to emulate the sound he and his brother had. “It was at that moment that I decided I would be Blood Brother.”
Soon after, he added a kick drum and a foot operated cymbal to the mix. He invented a device with drumsticks that enables him to play a snare drum via ropes attached to his thumb and 3rd finger. “I always felt that in order to truly sound like a real band, I had to be able to do snare and tom rolls and accents, and with this it's now possible!”
With such tragic events as the loss of his brother, physical hurdles like type 1 diabetes, and ongoing depression and anxiety, Blood Brother is no stranger to life's challenges. In “Broken Arrow” he sings, “throat is deeply swollen, Squeeze to swallow poison, angels have left me here to die.” However, his optimistic outlook shines through on songs like ”The Perfect Friendship” where he exclaims, “pitch your anger to the ground, and let your chest produce a sound that tells the world that you don't care!”
Blood Brother released an EP Volume I in 2013 and relocated to his home state of Minnesota. He has been performing in the Twin Cities, and has shared the stage with such influential one-person-bands as Bob Log III and Scott H. Biram. His upcoming full length album will be released in 2018. “My sound has evolved tremendously since it [Volume I] was released. I'm really looking forward to putting out something that reflects this change and showcases what I do.”