A band of four brothers

Daniel Magalit

Four brothers–no, not like the movie–but the four Baggaley brothers that make up the band Brown Shoe, were in town from the Los Angeles area for Saturday night’s show at the Blue Lamp.

The Blue Lamp concert venue, located on Alhambra Boulevard in Sacramento, is an intimate place with a full bar lined with decorations for its upcoming anniversary celebration on Halloween night.

The Giants lined the brick walls as each TV screen was illuminated with game four of the World Series. The guys of Brown Shoe politely waited for the win over the Royals before taking the room’s attention for their set.

Bryson, Ryan, Aaron and Landon Baggaley, originally from Folsom, California, came up with the name Brown Shoe almost by accident.

“Honestly, we’re not quite sure,” said Ryan Baggaley, singer and guitarist. “We just kept saying let’s come up with something simple, something you could pronounce that didn’t describe the music at all.”

Ryan and his brothers agreed that at some point they were going to change the name but Brown Shoe just stuck with them. They had other ideas like ‘The Thes’ and the ‘Iocains’ in reference to the 1987 movie “Princess Bride”.

The band was living in Sacramento for four years but recently decided they needed a change of pace.

“We decided to pack up our bags and move on down to Los Angeles about ten months ago,” said Aaron Baggaley, who plays guitar and keys.

Brown Shoe, after playing shows in Northern California for years, noticed a difference in culture when it moved to SoCal.

“[In NorCal] everyone knows each other a little bit more, which is nice,” said Ryan Baggaley. “There is more community [amongst the bands].” He said in L.A. there is a multitude of places to play and though the band likes the variety, it is hard to meet other bands and become regulars at some of the venues.

When deciding on the band’s next venture, places like New York and Nashville were possible choices but the brothers agreed on something else.

“I didn’t really want to move,” said Aaron Baggaley. “But these guys all did and now I love [Los Angeles].” Ryan Baggaley said, “We wanted to try something new, basically is the main reason.”

Brown Shoe has been together for ten years and the indie rock band has made a few changes in that time but their style is more or less the same.

“Certain songs demand certain things,” said Ryan Baggaley. “You try to be as flexible with your creativity as possible when in the studio and try to be as open to [expletive] and let it flow when it’s going good and know when to quit when it’s going bad.”

The four brothers, who range in age from early 20s to mid-30s, are very passionate about their craft.

“We try to push the boundaries for ourselves and see how far we can go with our musicianship,” said Bryson Baggaley.

In between songs, the band tuned their instruments to ensure a quality sound, which was clear that the screaming woman in the crowd of fans greatly appreciated.

Noticeably, during lyrical gaps, Ryan Baggaley closed his eyes and smiled. He said being onstage is when he feels most alive. Landon Baggaley could not even describe the feeling he gets when performing.

Being so close to people for so long, especially siblings, seems like it would be easy to step on each other’s toes. The guys of Brown Shoe agree they just have to respect each other’s space and creativity.

As the band sat on the L-shaped couch in the corner of the room where the pool tables staked claim, one could see the brothers were pretty close and thoroughly enjoyed creating music together.