Balkun Brothers
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Balkun Brothers

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




The Balkun Brothers took the next set for Funk Friday, going for more soulful takes on their hard-rocking blues style. One is reminded of Hendrix, Trower and Stevie Ray, and other Strat-masters, as the leads, licks, power chords and wah-wah effects from brother Steve Belkun issue forth with smooth and sharp, jazz-inflected agility. With Caleb, their new bass player (who was their original bassist, actually), and Nick, the other brother, on drums, The Belkun power trio showed a lot of drive and style, especially with Steve owning the stage from all directions. I could easily imagine these guys kicking ass in any of the numerous watering holes and gin mills (and other, more ‘proper’ venues too) which they play in around New York and New England, as well as plenty of other metro areas across the much of eastern half of the country. Chatting with the guitarist beforehand, he explained that tomorrow’s set would be more true to their primary interest (more blues and less funk) and went on to discuss the philosophy of diversity and the advantages of being able to adapt to a variety of listeners’ needs- all very realistic and reasonable standards for the working musician nowadays. -

"Melvin Seals and JGB Bring Smiles to All"

Opening the night from Hartford, Connecticut were the Balkun Brothers. Their unique style of powerful blues, fronted by lead guitarist Steve Balkun, mixed sounds of Joe Satriani and Jimi Hendrix, an ability shown by few guitarists today. The shredding that came from every song left the crowd wanting more, and more is what they got. Showing their diversity the band also delved into a few funky songs, further proving they weren’t a one trick pony. This was even more evident in their closing number, “Fire”, by the aforementioned Jimi Hendrix, leaving the crowd in good spirits and ready for Melvin Seals and JGB. -

"The Balkun Brothers Get Good And Swampy"

Fans of the Red Hot Chili Peppers — or, going back even further, maybe Mountain — will find much to enjoy about the Balkun Brothers, a local trio often billed as a blues band but who just as frequently push into hard rock territory.

They do play blues; the Balkuns were named Best Blues Band at the 2013 Connecticut Music Awards, and guitarist Steve Balkun, 26, was a top-ten finalist Guitar Center's Bluesmaster Competition last year. As a group, they're at their best playing unison power-trio riffs and steamy funk, with pockets of drum-fill bluster.

Steve, who also sings, is a charismatic frontman, dipping his knees in ecstasy as he tortures strings. Nick Balkun, 24, who took up drumming only a few years ago, lays down a solid backbeat. The interplay between siblings exudes brotherly love, and maybe some rivalry; that extends to bassist Caleb Battersby, who learned to play his instrument largely by jamming along with Nick.

During his formative years, Steve became a regular at Black-Eyed Sally's, where he first learned to play with other musicians. It took some time before Battersby and Nick were able to catch up. "We'd always been tight as brothers growing up," Steve Balkun said. "He'd been following me around in the various bands I've been in." As soon as Nick picked up the drums, the brothers started playing together. "I remember when he could hardly play at all, and now we're playing every week."

The Balkun Brothers could slide easily into the festival or jam-band scenes, where they'd likely turn fans of Tedeschi Trucks Band or Gary Clark Jr. onto their music. But they're still equally at home performing for the more conservative CT Blues Society crowd (they'll get their chance on March 29, when they play the Blues Blizzard in West Hartford). Even now, when the Balkuns stretch out into funk or heavy rock, "it's all just blues," Steve said. "That's where I started, and everything comes back to it... The history and tradition and where we stand in that lineage is definitely something I think about in our music… But depending on the crowd and what's happening, we'll change up our set."

Nick Balkun handles most of the booking and other industry-type stuff, leaving Steve to focus on the creative side. "[Nick] is probably the engine that runs this whole thing," Steve said. "We wouldn't be doing the majority of what we're doing without him... He's very business-minded and keeps us on schedule." The guitarist is more of the opposite. "I'll just show up and do my thing. It's definitely good to know I've got someone reliable behind me who keeps this whole operation moving... A lot of people in bands can't rely on that."

The Balkun Brothers currently have a six-song EP, "God Bless Our Fallout Shelter," available for purchase or streaming. Within six months they hope to record a new full-length album. Awards and accolades are likely to keep coming. "They're not really our main focus," Steve said. "They're not really a focus at all, just things that happened by chance. It's more just because we're putting ourselves out there... I still feel like we have a lot of work to do."

"I'm sure there are all kinds of stories about brothers in a band that have been good or not so good," Steve continued. "We're lucky that we're really tight. We just like hanging out together in general, and that translates into shows. Caleb's tight with us too." - Hartford Courant


Still working on that hot first release.



Balkun Brothers is an American blues-rock band hailing from Hartford, CT. Originally formed in 2010 by brothers Nick and Steve Balkun, Balkun Brothers has been described as “… Spectacular torch-bearers for rockin’ American blues… The band brings a raw, soulful and energetic personality that is a fresh sound for blues and rock ’n roll.” Mixing traditional styles of delta and electric blues, with heavy modern rock and funk grooves, the Balkun Brothers are crafting a unique sound and style all their own. The trio is fusing the past with the present and pushing the sonic bounds of blues into the future. Though the band’s sound is deeply rooted in blues tradition, Balkun Brothers draw from a vast range of influences. The band’s live shows and in-studio recordings seamlessly transition between blues, rock, funk, jam, psychedelia and everything in-between.


Currently, the band consists of founding members Steve Balkun (guitar/vocals), Nick “The Hammer” Balkun (drums/percussion/vocals) and Caleb “Dr. Jiggles” Battersby (bass/vocals). Gaining followers with their gritty hard-rockin’ swagger, Balkun Brothers are becoming known for their explosive live shows and are quickly evolving into one of New England’s premier blues-rock acts.


Balkun Brothers was voted the ’Best Blues Band In Connecticut’  two years in a row, in 2013 and 2014, by and the Connecticut Music Awards. The band was nominated in three categories in 2013 and five categories in 2014 at the Connecticut Music Awards (a CTMA record). The group also won the 2014 Connecticut Blues Society Band Challenge, and the 2013 Massachusetts Blues Society Solo/Duo Competition. As a solo act, Steve Balkun was named the winner of the 2012 Connecticut Blues Society Solo/Suo Competition, as well as being a grand finalist at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Steve, was also hand selected by blues-rock great, Joe Bonamassa, as a top ten finalist in the 2013 Guitar Center Bluesmasters Competition and played with Joe Bonamassa and his band in Los Angeles, CA.


The band released their first self-produced studio EP “God Bless Our Fallout Shelter” in September of 2013. The collection of only six songs was nominated for album of the year along with the first single ‘Control Yourself’ for song of the year at the 2014 CTMA’s. The EP was also named one of the top 50 albums of 2013 by

As Balkun Brothers continues to grow and progress, their following has expanded and an impressive touring schedule has featured them at a variety of festivals including: Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI), Strangecreek Campout Festival (Greenfield, MA), East Petersburg Blues Festival (East Petersburg, PA), 2 Left Feet Blues Festival (East Hartland, CT), Harry Brown’s Hill Festival (Starks, ME), Yellow Phone Music Festival (Milwaukee, WI), Launch Music Festival (Lancaster, PA), and various others. Balkun Brothers also performs at countless legendary clubs including Toad’s Place (New Haven, CT), The Bitter End (New York City, NY), Nectar’s (Burlington, VT),  Black Eyed Sally’s (Hartford, CT), Rum Boogie (Memphis ,TN) and Infinity Music Hall (Norfolk, CT). They have also been a featured act alongside well-know artists such as Johnny Winter, Joe Bonamassa, James Cotton, Popa Chubby, Dopapod, Melvin Seals and JGB, The Mike Dillon Band and many more.


The band is set to release their first full-length album in January of 2015 and will continue to perform extensively throughout the U.S. and beyond…

Band Members