Sum Brothers are Tim Womack, Drew Womack, Tres Womack, Luke Adair, Eric Raines, and Josh Droegemueller.
The Sum Brothers Bio
When the talents of brothers Drew, Tim, and Tres Womack are combined with the styles of their musical kin Luke Adair, Eric Raines, and Josh Droegemeuller - the unprecedented result is the Sum Brothers. For the last couple of decades, the voices of the six now bandmates have woven in and out of each other’s live shows and studio albums. Always supporting each other’s music, often playing together, but never forming an official band - until now. 2018 sees the first time that all three Womack brothers have come together as an official group. Over the years the brothers have collaborated on multiple bands and solo projects. Often found performing on the same stages, but at different times, the Womack brothers’ musical evolution can be traced through festival lineups across the years. One such event is The MusicFest at Steamboat, Colorado where Tim’s band The Phaze performed during the early years, and Drew has had several solo performances. Recently, Tres, Josh, Luke and their band the Chubby Knuckle Choir have brought their joyful noise to the Rocky Mountains as well.
While this may be the first time the three Womack brothers have officially collaborated, sharing a stage together is certainly nothing new. Drew and Tim Womack were key members of the Waco-based band Sons of the Desert from 1997 to the band’s dissolution in the early 2000s. During that time, the Sons released a debut album with the title track “Whatever Comes First” charting on Billboard’s Top 10. Drew and Tim worked with a number of Nashville superstars during their time with the band, including singing vocals on Lee Ann Womack’s 2000 hit “I Hope You Dance.” Drew wrote and co-wrote nine top-10 hits during his time in Music City, including Kenny Chesney’s “She’s Got It All” as well as earning five ASCAP Awards and two BMI Awards. As a band, Drew and Tim received three Academy of Country Music Awards, a Country Music Association Award, and two Country Music Television Awards. Despite their success, the group dissolved shortly after the release of “I Hope You Dance”. Both Womack brothers went on to continue successful solo careers - Drew releasing a self-titled album in 2003 that earned him two Top 5 singles as well as an international tour and Tim garnering songwriting credits for Aaron Tippin, John Anderson and more. Meanwhile, Tres Womack, along with Luke Adair and Josh Droegemeuller, were jamming along as the Chubby Knuckle Choir - a genre-defying band formed in 2009 that blended country, bluegrass, R&B, and swamp blues into a sound all their own. However, after nearly ten years of touring and several album releases, the Choir dissolved as well.
Having collaborated so often under the name of other bands, The Womack boy’s reunion should be no surprise. Tres Womack’s 2008 solo release Freakshow features the talents of not only his brothers, but the skills of Luke and Josh as well. Freakshow gives an early sneak peek to the sound that the Sum Brothers would refine into an official band a decade later. In keeping with their tradition of having at least one Womack brother perform at The MusicFest at Steamboat, The Sum Brothers will not only be celebrating the formation of their band at the festival this January but celebrating the release of their debut album - due February 2019.
Sum Brothers - Brownwood Review - Jacy Meador
Sum Brothers’ debut album Brownwood (released January 1, 2019) perfectly showcases the collaborative talents of real-life brothers Drew, Tim and Tres Womack, and their brothers in music Luke Adair, Eric Raines, and Josh Droegemeuller. The album moves seamlessly from one unique track to the next - tied together by a sound that is authentically Americana. Punctuated throughout with sweeping fiddle solos, dynamic electric guitar leads, and poignant lyrics, Brownwood boasts not only the deft musical skills of the Brothers, but the depth and variety of their songwriting.
The album’s introduction comes in the form of an acoustic guitar and Drew Womack’s plaintive voice singing “Well I used to pray to Jesus but I done backslid, carrying the burdens of a preacher kid” on the Holly Williams’ tune “Railroads.” At the end of the first verse, the rest of the band comes in, driving the song’s momentum. While Tres Womack lays down the bass line and Raines drives the beat on drums, guitarist Tim Womack exchanges solos with Droegemueller on fiddle. The sounds Adair’s picking on the banjo can be heard dappled across the backdrop of the music - adding yet another layer to Sum Brothers’ unique sound.
The album moves from the opening track to two love songs, “Hold That Thought” (co-written by Drew Womack, Tia Sillers and Mark D Sanders), and “I Came Around” (penned by Droegemueller). From these rocking anthems of love, the album moves into one of the project’s stand-out tracks - “Rebecca’s Moon.” Painting a mental image with sweeping, musical brushstrokes, it is easy to imagine the beauty of the moon in this tune. The lyrics draw the listener into a story of longing for lost love, and the attempt to move on. One of the songs written solely by Drew, his crooning voice throughout adds the perfect touch of authenticity to this heartfelt song.
“Rebecca’s Moon” fades into the fiddle and piano laden track of “She Ain’t Through” featuring the talents of guest musician Vaughan Jones on the keys. The only track penned entirely by Tres, it showcases not only his talent as a writer, but his soulful voice is featured throughout. Alternating between a rocking, lullaby-like fiddle solo and the melodic plinking of the piano, the beauty of the music almost seems to ease the heartache the song is about. The tempo picks back up with “Deadly Game” by Luke Adair which features a gritty, rocking country beat. Luke’s banjo shares a rapport with Droegemueller’s fiddle in this raucous tune - the two deft instrumentalists trading solos back forth. “A Little Bit More” keeps up the pace but with a more cheerful, upbeat attitude. Trading the banjo for a mandolin, Luke’s picking is featured throughout.
The rocking, overdriven guitar on “I Built Me a Boat” brings to mind the driving beat found on the first track on the album, bringing the listener full circle. The hopeful spirit of this track tells the tale of someone who has finally been able to move on after heartbreak declaring “You cried us a river, so I built me a boat, watch me driftin’ away.” Again, guest pianist Vaughan Jones is featured on the keys, this time on the B3 organ in a solo reminiscent of the 1960s sound. In a demonstration of the breadth of Americana music and their mastery of it, Sum Brothers shift easily from this classic, American rock to an acoustic, bluegrass-esque jam on “Behind My Eyes”. With a stripped-down introduction of Tim’s flatpicking on the guitar and Drew’s gritty vocal, the song evolves into a banjo-driven jam with the full band.
The album concludes on the title track “Brownwood” which gives a somber insight into small town life. Settling in on a relaxing, folksy chord progression, the singer lovingly describes the darker side of life in a rural Texas town in 1982. While alluding to the closed mindedness of small towns, the song also shows the love and support that can be found in such tight-knit neighborhoods. This final track paints a beautifully complex picture of the good and bad of small towns, moving seamlessly from a feeling of nostalgia to one of remorse and back again. Upon finishing the album, it was hard to believe that so much ground was covered in ten tracks. No two songs are alike, yet they flow together into something larger. As a debut album, this project couldn’t have been a better showcase for the talent of Sum Brothers.
Brownwood was produced by Drew Womack and Sum Brothers themselves and was recorded at several Texas studios including Max’s Playhouse (engineer Drew Womack), Yellow Dog Studios (engineer Adam J. Odor), and KOKE-FM Studios (engineer Eric Raines) as well as in Strings in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (engineer Steve Boynton) where the album made its official debut at The MusicFest at Steamboat in January 2019.
June 21, 2019 @ The Bugle Boy - La Grancge, TX