Alumni to Perform at Historic Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
When we’re kids, we play out our dreams. Think classics like “cops and robbers,” “dress-up,” “school” and “house.”
So when brothers Jeremy Hegg, ’94, and Jon Hegg, ’99, began recording music, manipulating sounds and re-mixing Prince’s classic “Controversy,” all before the age of 10, their parents, Dennis, class of ’68, and Barbara, class of ’67, had a pretty good idea of what was ahead.
After graduation, and after touring with groups such as Hot Rod Chevy Kevy and Spooncat!, the pair teamed up to form The Hegg Brothers. Since their early days, they’ve steadily made a name for themselves by tackling intricate music that’s off the beaten path – playing works by Steely Dan, Bruce Hornsby and Lyle Lovett and others.
“In Omaha, we’re known as those ‘Steely Dan guys,’” said Jon, 33. “When we started this, we didn’t want to do typical cover songs. We decided we were going to do more low-radar stuff. It’s harder, but it’s more engaging. In South Dakota, live music fans don’t care about the 20-year-old Brad Pitt-looking person who sucks, they’re looking for good music.”
The duo plays 125 gigs a year, often in venues that feature an intimate setting, such as Stogeez, McNally’s Pub, Paramount Studio and Tre Lounge in Sioux Falls. Jeremy covers lead vocals and plays keyboard; Jon mans backup and mixes the sounds.
“Jon does the stuff people can’t put their finger on. He makes the two of us sound like four people,” said Jeremy.
In 2009, the pair launched “Holiday Jam With the Hegg Brothers,” a touring Christmas show featuring a nine-member ensemble that includes Jeremy and Jon, Noah Hoehn, ’02, Andrew Reinartz, ’05, and a host of other musicians. The show combines a mix of vocals with electric and acoustic guitars, dual keyboards, harmonica, horns, bass and a pounding percussion section for an unforgettable evening of classic and contemporary favorites that celebrate the spirit of the season.
In 2009, “Holiday Jam With the Hegg Brothers” played to near-sell-out crowds in Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Pierre, Watertown, Madison and Sheldon, Iowa.
For the brothers, playing more new venues and jamming with other talented musicians is attractive. But at the end of the day, they say, it’s still all about the music and doing what they love. “We were playing last Saturday night and, at one point in the set, the place just blew up. I remember I was playing really well and, I thought to myself, ‘Are you kidding? This is a job?’ It’s a very lucky scenario,” said Jon.