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Sunday Afternoon with The Wilhelm Brothers
A photo essay with photographer and producer, Kelly Devine

It’s that time of the year, here in Upstate NY when hopping on the road and driving just makes sense. When it’s okay to slow down on a Sunday afternoon, stop for a drink at a pub, just because it’s Sunday and you have no other plans.


There was a typical warm pub atmosphere, the scent of pub food, the clinking of glasses and billiard balls in the background mixed with voices, of course.  

You could feel the anticipation, as there was obviously a musical act being set up to play.  All eyes moved to the space in front of the large stone fireplace as the plinking of strings, the sounds of a cello and a guitar being tuned, mingled.  The two musicians smiled at each other, as if they had a secret or a surprise for the crowd.

I got lucky last Sunday as my day trip took me to Lulu’s place at the Stone Castle Inn in Cairo, NY.

I can only describe the start of the set as a train building speed.  The Wilhelm Brothers, Chris Wilhelm whose guitar is merely an extension of himself and Cristof Ensslin, so deliberate on his cello, were on fire.  Now, I’ve never officially heard Indie Rock played in person.  Being a classic rocker, for oh, the last 35 years, I was hoping that this was going to be entertaining at the very least.  

I was completely caught off guard.  

Not only was I entertained, I was moved.  The stories attached to each of the songs made me feel the intention behind the music.  To see musicians, eyes closed, working to give the gift of emotion to us as an audience, made me realize that I was in the right place at the right time.

It’s been said by other reviewers that this duo can move even non-singers to sing along, that they leave you with a positive feeling when they play.  That is an understatement.  Weaving in stories with the melodic sounds of folk, classical, pop and rock music, The Wilhelm Brothers from Ashville, NC are worth coming out for.  I’m hoping, that when they come my way again, I’ll be able to make time to hear them again. This is simply because they are truly one of the music world’s best kept secrets.

~ Kelly Devine


To see more of Kelly Devine’s work, visit her facebook page here

Kelly is also the producer of DJ Howl’s Wednesday Drivetime show on Exosphere, and you can read their blog here

Right: Chris and Cristof with Lulu Riordan, owner of the Stone Castle Inn in Cairo NY

Below: the duo with Kelly Devine