A new video from the Brother’s Rye, featuring the single “Start It Up Again,” is an ode to front man Benjamin Lee Paterson’s hometown of Woods Hole, as well as the seasonal tides all Cape Codders are familiar with.
As anyone who’s set foot there knows, Woods Hole has a Jekyll and Hyde quality: the good times of summer, filled with steel drums and shellfish, and a harsh, windy winter. As the band jams out around a bonfire, flasks passing and sparks flying, “Start Up Again” conveys the seasonal rite of passage from winter into spring, despair into hope. Even if you’ve never been to Woods Hole, you’ll find yourself humming along, feeling just a tad it nostalgic for those raw March days.
Hailing from the cosmopolitan climes of South Minneapolis, Chris “Topher” “Ramshackle” “Ducky” Maffei got his start playing punk rock in garage bands, gaining inspiration from shows at the 7th Street Entry and other local venues. Taking notes from drummers on the St. Paul jazz scene, Topher and his band of miscreants held down a Wednesday night residency at The Cabooze, sharing the stage with the likes of The Jazz Mandolin Project, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The New Deal, The Big Wu and other touring bands.
Heeding the call of the ocean and his lovely Cape Codder bride, Chelsea, Topher ventured out to Puerto Rico to cut a hole in the water for a couple of years. Finally leaving the tropical climate, the happy couple landed in Portland, Oregon. Returning to his roots in punk, Toph took up the sticks for Shredosaurus Rex.
While on tour through the Southwest, Topher somehow got involved in a quick getaway from a ﬁne Vegas establishment (but not until all the free food a booze was safely in the van). Not long for one place—and with the Vegas fuzz hot on his trail—Topher headed east to Cape Cod.
Answering a well-scripted Craigslist ad from a belligerently bearded man looking for a drummer in 2011, Topher was unwittingly introduced to Benjamin Lee Paterson. It wasn’t long before he became the washboard scratching, bell-dinging percussion backbone for BLP’s band, Silver Still Shines, and later, Brother’s Rye.
Drawing inspiration from acts like the Tennessee Maﬁa Jug Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, anything Portland and anything Minneapolis, Topher brings a light-hearted cheer to the rhythm section— but donʼt be fooled by his outward (or drunken) demeanor. True to his “Ducky” nickname, Topher holds it down on stage—but like a duck on the water, furious work is being done under the surface.
Just ask him about “the chicken dance” and heʼll tell you what’s what.