Brother O’ Brother

Starting in the Summer of 2013, Brother O’ Brother began making music with one major message in mind: love

This musical duo has a sound akin to a heavier, fuzzier version of early White Stripes mixed in with psychedelic and garage rock influences. As first year ORANJE participants, the two are planning on a live show to blow you away. “People want to be entertained and engaged, not hear a recital, and we take a lot of pride in making sure we are an engaging live experience.”

This two piece band consists of Chris Banta on guitar/vocals and Warner Swopes on the drums. Banta started playing music at the age of 12. He got his blues kick from his parents, who introduced him to The Black Keys at Indy Jazz Fest in 2002. Swopes also started at a young age, beginning on the drums at age 10. Listening to a lot of James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac, he became really interested in the beats. The two came together and with the help of Brian “Bone” Thorburn at Threshold Studios, they recently released their first 7′ vinyl (that you can pick up at their online merch store) along with a new full length album.

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While this group is relatively new (about a year old), they haven’t wasted any time. Brother O’ Brother has performed with bands such as Diarrhea Planet, Cadaver Dogs, North Bye North, The Addies and Kinda Good. “Our best performance is probably either at Emporium Barcade in Chicago in July or our last show with Diarrhea Planet at The Hoosier Dome. People were hanging from the rafters, falling on stage, and Chris even crowd surfed while soloing last time at the Dome. At Emporium at the end of our set it got so rowdy we set off the smoke alarm.”

What are Brother O’ Brother’s plans for the future? “Just to try to expand, grow and see what happens. In the short term, we are working on doing some smaller tours and more regional shows as we push towards touring longer stints at a time next year. Our families and faith come first, but we are excited about the rapid growth we have had and are eager to continue to put our best foot forward and see what happens.”

We asked Brother O’ Brother why they think people should attend ORANJE. “Not only to support local and regional artists, but to support your horizons. I think people often fail to realize just how many great bands and artists there are in Indiana. This event puts a ton of them all in one location at the same time. Also, you should want to see Brother O’ Brother. It’s good for your health.”

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If you want to check out Brother O’ Brother before ORANJE 2014, they will be performing at the Blessed is He reunion show at The Gear (Franklin, IN) on August 9 and also at The Bishop (Bloomington, IN) on September 11 with Goodbye June (Nashville).

You can keep up with Brother O’ Brother on their Facebook page, and make sure to catch them on September 13 at ORANJE!

Susan Shorter

“Paint what makes you happy, and if it makes you happy, someone else is bound to like it, too.”

Those powerful words helped inspire Susan Shorter to stop struggling to please her professors and follow her passion of creating fantasy art, art that tells a story or makes you wonder about the character/story behind the piece. “Some might find it cliché to want to paint fairies and mermaids, but it makes me happy. I love to create beautiful, colorful things that can take me to another place, and at the end of the day, I’m pleased with that. I love to play with color and lighting, and I just love to work from the human form. Lately, I have been drawn to drawing elderly people; there is so much story etched in the wrinkle patterns on their faces.”

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Susan is no stranger to the world of art. Her mom put her in her first gallery show when she was only three years old and she won the children’s competition (and she still has the tiny award). After that, she never stopped drawing. In high school, Susan started driving up to Indianapolis to take Saturday courses at Herron. After high school, she moved on to enroll in Ball State’s art program, but after three semesters, she transferred to The Herron School of Art. She received her BFA from Herron in 2004.

Susan recently wrapped up a show in August at the Harrison Center for the Arts. They had raw paintings and drawings she created for her book “Incredible Pebbles” on display. She also has work for sale at Blue Moon Gifts in Brazil, IN. Coming up in November, Susan will be showing in the Flashlight Gallery at the Waldron Center in Bloomington, IN. Working on her fantasy art and fine art painting that she loves isn’t her full-time job, although she has a small studio at home where she can work on these things. During the day, she is a staff illustrator for Author Solutions in Bloomington, IN, primarily working on children’s book illustrations, of which she’s done over 250 so far. She also creates paintings and custom artwork for the covers of novels the company publishes. As if that isn’t enough, Susan has written and illustrated two children’s books of her own, titled “It’s a Muddy World” and “Incredible Pebbles.”

This isn’t Susan’s first time showing her work at ORANJE, but the last time she was a participant was 2006. “In 2006, I was a recent grad and totally green to the world of showing your art. It was an amazing experience! I was so grateful to be a part of this amazing group of artists and a part of an event that was such a powerful display of creativity, it was an education, a confidence-builder and I still have the friends and fans I made that night in my life.”

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At her booth, you can expect to see a wide variety of Susan’s pieces, ranging from large fantasy paintings, figurative drawings and abstract art to signed copies of her children’s books. She’ll have both originals and prints available and will be doing quick, sketchy 10-minute portraits for $10. So what is she excited for about ORANJE 2013? “Variety, creativity, excitement and just a good ole’ time! I know a few of the artists involved and there is so much awesomeness in store for the people that are coming!”

Don’t miss out on seeing Susan Shorter on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!