Brotherly Love

The Kongo's musical dynasty

Some fortuitous kitchen-sink ideas include John J.'s use of the accordion (the second most feared instrument in Western music, just after bagpipes). It gives tracks like "The Way" a crazy klezmer-meets-raga lilt, and his blazing solo seems all the more incredible because John J. hadn't ever played the accordion before.

After trying everything on a song called "Nothing," they decided to pay homage to their dad and their homeland by taking a piece of plywood, throwing African shakers and bells on it, making an eight-bar loop of it, and multitracking it to create a simulated African stamping choir.

At long last, all four Kongos are on the same page musically and promise to be in it for the long haul. Rest assured, they will win hearts, change minds and yes, maybe even freak out some folks with their familial similitude and musical symbiosis.

The Kongos’ quirky rock is a family affair.
Daniel Kongos
The Kongos’ quirky rock is a family affair.


Kongos, and Bluejay are scheduled to perform on Friday, March 16, at Last Exit in Tempe.

"In South Africa, we went to a Greek school that's very family-oriented," Jesse says. "When we came here, a lot of people thought it was abnormal that we get along, that we're brothers and we're friends."

"But that's not to say we don't fight," Dylan says. "If it's stupid, we fight about it. When we were younger, the sibling rivalry took a more physical form, punching and hitting. As we grew up, everyone has an ego [and] it took a different form. When we come down to the studio, the rivalry disappears. It's more about creating a good product."

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