Balkun Brothers is an American rock n' roll power-duo hailing from Hartford, CT. Formed by blood brothers Nick and Steve Balkun, the duo has been described by TheDay.com as, “Spectacular torch-bearers for rockin’ American blues. The band brings a raw, soulful and energetic personality that is a fresh sound for blues and rock ’n roll.” The Hartford Courant also characterizes their sound as, "Weaponized biker-bar blues rock, big on riffage but with a touch of soul and psychedelic freakouts".
Mixing heavy rock and funk grooves with traditional styles of delta and electric blues, Balkun Brothers are crafting a unique sound and style all their own. Defying the common logic of a duo act, Steve and Nick create a massive wall of sonic energy that draws from a vast range of influences including Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Johnny Winter, The Doors, Rage Against The Machine, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Motörhead and many more. The band’s live shows and in-studio recordings seamlessly transition between rock, blues, funk, jam, punk, psychedelia and everything in-between. Known for their explosive live shows, Balkun Brothers are quickly evolving into one of the USA’s premier duo acts and they are rapidly gaining followers across the world with their gritty hard-rockin’ attitude.
After being voted 'Best Blues Band in Connecticut' at the Connecticut Music Awards 4 years in a row (from 2013-2016), the band was most recently awarded 'Best Rock Band in New England' at the 2017 New England Music Awards.
Balkun Brothers has shared the stage with acts such as Johnny Winter, Joe Bonamassa, George Lynch, Chris Robinson, Gary Hoey, James Cotton, Gogol Bordello, Devon Allman, Melvin Seals and JGB, Eric Sardinas, Albert Castiglia, The Mike Dillon Band, Dub Trio, Dopapod, Vapors of Morphine, Selwyn Birchwood and Chris Duarte. The duo has also been featured on major festival line-ups alongside The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Motley Crüe, Alice Cooper, Slayer, Iggy Pop, Gary Clark Jr. and Elvin Bishop.
Brothers Nick and Steve, independently produced and released their debut album in 2015 entilted, 'ReDrova', which was well received and rose to #1 on the Roots Music Report Blues-Rock album charts and was #5 on the Roots Music Report overall Blues charts.
Balkun Brothers signed with European label Dixiefrog Records in 2015 and released their much anticipated second album, 'Devil On TV', with Dixiefrog in May of 2017.
On their mission to spread rock n' roll across the universe, the brothers have toured extensively throughout the United States from coast to coast. The band has also completed five European tours since 2015, performing in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France.
The Balkun Brothers return to their rock and blues roots on the power duo's latest album, The Sun Studio Sessions. The brothers pay tribute to their musical forefathers with ten raw and honest songs ranging from fast, up-tempo rock anthems to dirty, sweat-covered, backwoods delta blues. The album was recorded overnight, just how Sam Phillips used to do it with the blues legends, in the same room that captured countless hits. The duo, from Hartford, CT, channel the spirits of rock n' roll past and present their own powerful style in a space that provides the classic sound which cannot be replicated. Engineered by Sun Studios owner, Ples Hampton, using the same vintage soundboard, microphones and tape delays that Phillips utilized in the 1950's, the Balkun Brothers bring to life a studio that has been a sanctuary to many greats.
After completing their 6th European tour in June 2019, the Balkun Brothers are now on a full United States tour and plan to release their new album in 2020.
Balkun Brothers upcoming album, 'Here Comes The End Of The World', mixes rock, thrash, doom and punk all into one fast-paced adrenaline covered rampage. The high-energy songs reveal the band's versatility in the studio and their in-your-face attitude bleeds true rock n' roll into the listeners ears with every note. The power duo's latest body of work was produced, recorded and mixed on analog tape by legendary engineer, Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies, Iggy Pop), at Electrical Audio in Chicago, IL and mastered by Bill Skibbe (Jack White, The Black Keys, The Raconteurs) at Third Man Records in Detroit, MI. Both Albini and Skibbe are veterans of the music business and have number one albums with a variety of artists including Jack White's latest album 'Boarding House Reach'. White even attended Balkun Brothers' mastering session.
Balkun Brothers have performed at many prestigious venues
across the United States and Europe, including:
The Iridium Jazz Club – New York City, NY
BB King’s Blues Club – New York City, NY
The Bitter End – New York City, NY
Cafe Wha? – New York City, NY
Fairfield Theatre Company – Fairfield, CT
Mohegan Sun Casino – Uncasville, CT
Infinity Music Hall – Hartford/Norfolk, CT
Black Eyed Sally’s – Hartford, CT
Toad’s Place – New Haven, CT
Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT
Nectar’s – Burlington, VT
Johnny D’s – Boston, MA
Chan’s – Woonsocket, RI
Daryl’s House -Pawling, NY
Putnam Den – Saratoga Springs, NY
Time Out Pub – Rockland, ME
Callahan’s – Auburn Hills, MI
The Double Door Inn – Charlotte, NC
Orpheum Theatre – Memphis, TN
The Nick - Birmingham, AL
New Morning Jazz Club - Paris, France
Cabaret Sauvage – Paris, France
Quasimodo Jazz club – Berlin, Germany
North Sea Jazz Club – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Spirit of 66 - Verviers, Belgium
The Blues Garage - Isernhagen, Germany
…and many others.
The band has been featured on a variety of festivals, including:
Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI
Rocklahoma – Pryor, OK
Cognac Blues Passions Festival – Cognac, France
Bowers & Wilkins Rhythm and Blues Festival – Halle, Germany
Cultura Rock Festival – Rieberg, Germany
Suncoast Blues Festival – Sarasota, FL
Daytona Blues Festival – Daytona Beach, FL
Kaiserslautern Blues Festival – Kaiserslautern, Germany
Cocoa Village BBQ & Blues Fest – Cocoa Beach, FL
Big Bend Blues & Brews Bash – Pomeroy, OH
2 Left Feet Blues Festival – Simsbury, CT
Black Eyed and Blues Fest – Hartford, CT
Strangecreek Campout Music Festival – Greenfield, MA
Wormtown Music Festival – Greenfield, MA
Gypsy Moon Blues Festival – East Petersburg, PA
Blues At The Beach Music Festival – Stratford, CT
Harry Brown’s Hill Festival – Starks, ME
Backwoods Pond Fest – Peru, NY
Rock N’ Roll Resort – Kerhonskon, NY
Yellow Phone Music Festival – Milwaukee, WI
Launch Music Festival – Lancaster, PA
Dewey Beach Music Festival – Dewey Beach, DE
Awards and accolades include:
2019 Winner of Connecticut Blues Society Solo/Duo Challenge
2017 Best Rock Band in Hartford - Hartford Courant
2017 Best Rock Band In New England – New England Music Awards
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best Blues Band In Connecticut – CTnow.com & CT Music Awards
2016 Nominee for Best Rock Band In New England – New England Music Awards
2016 Best Percussionist In Connecticut – Percussive Arts Society Of America
2015 Best Overall Band In Connecticut – CTnow.com & CT Music Awards
2015 Nominee for Best Band In Connecticut – New England Music Awards
2014 Top Emerging Artist – Summerfest Music Festival – Milwaukee, WI
2014 Winner of Connecticut Blues Society Band Challenge
2013 Winner of Massachusetts Blues Society Solo/Duo Challenge
2016, 2012 Winner of Connecticut Blues Society Solo/Duo Challenge
Semi Finalist at the 2015 International Blues Challenge – Memphis, TN
Semi Finalist at the 2014 International Blues Challenge – Memphis, TN
Grand Finalist at the 2013 International Blues Challenge – Memphis, TN
Finalist in 2013 Guitar Center Bluesmaster Competition – Los Angeles, CA