xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Weber Brothers returning to Westminster for homecoming concert

Ryan and Sam Weber searched for a new van in Hagerstown Monday.

The brothers have lots of rock concert gigs this year all over the country, and they need a new ride to get them there.

Their next performance won't require much traveling, though. It's in Westminster, their hometown.

The Webers, both graduates of Westminster High School, will be performing in a homecoming show at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.

It will be the first time the Webers have played in Westminster in more than five years.

"It's going to be a celebration and a reunion with everybody that we've known," Ryan said. "Everyone that's still around that can make it, we hope to see them all."

The Weber brothers got their start in Westminster. Sam, 30, received a guitar for Christmas when he was 8. Ryan, 32, was gifted a bass soon thereafter.

The two played in several local bands, including A.W.O.L., Illegal Aliens and Northern Lights. Sam started playing in bars when he was 15, often taking late evening gigs and arriving at Westminster High School early the next morning.

After graduation, the brothers relocated to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. It's the hometown of rock-a-billy legend Ronnie Hawkins. They wanted the chance to play with his band, The Hawks.

It wasn't easy to leave home, but they knew they wanted a music career and figured this was their chance.

"Of course, there were reservations when we first left," Ryan said. "But you have to take those risks. Within those risks, hopefully lie big rewards."

Before getting the chance to tour with Hawkins, they literally had to do the dirty work first. They served as hands at Hawkins' farm, roadies, drivers and merchandise handlers.

The Webers worked their way into the gig, much like many former Hawks band members did to have the chance to perform, Ryan said.

It was worth it, the brothers said. While playing with Hawkins, they got the chance to share the stage with Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band, "Life is a Highway" singer Tom Cochrane and Country Music Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson.

Last year, the Webers were flown via private jet to Cleveland to perform with Hawkins in a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame American Masters Tribute to Chuck Berry, the 1950s-era icon with hits like "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Johnny B. Goode." Berry is one of their idols.

The Weber Brothers were the youngest players there, playing alongside country music legend Merle Haggard, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead fame, and several several other musicians they revered.

It was a huge moment for the brothers, who got their start playing at venues like Johansson's Down Under in Westminster and the New Windsor Inn.

"I never doubted what we would be able to do," Sam said.

Hawkins, 78, has fought pancreatic cancer in recent years and has not toured much.

Meanwhile, the Weber brothers have been touring as part of their own rock band. The Weber Brothers have recorded eight albums together and are considering releasing a ninth. Sam (guitar, vocals) and Ryan (bass, vocals) tour with keyboardist Shai "Cookie" Peer and drummer Marcus Browne.

For most of the year, they are on the road, traveling between gigs in a tour van. Their new van, once they find it, will take them to the next stops in a music career that got its start in Carroll County more than a decade ago.

"It's a transient life," Ryan said. "We spend three-quarters of the year on the road. The rest of that time is split between being up north [in Canada] and here. We're always on the move."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement