Other Brother Darryl are a Boston-based alt-country supergroup made up of singer-songwriters Dan Nicklin, Nate Leavitt, Dave Mirabella and Dan Cederholm. First coming together over a love of big folk harmonies, the cosmic canyon rock sound of The Jayhawks and Wilco, and the television series Newhart, the seeds of Other Brother Darryl were first conceptualized back in 2012 at the defunct Somerville rock club Radio, where each member would perform frequently with their respective projects. An endless string of conversations, local Boston rock shows, and beers would line the next several years, and in 2019, Other Brother Darryl would make good on a promise to each other to bring their collective creative vision to life and write and record the album they were always meant to.  In November 2022, Other Brother Darryl released debut single, “Until I Do,” b/w “The Ballad of Joni & Graham,” the same night they would perform live at Underwater Sunshine Fest in New York City.  New single “Drive” arrived a year later, followed by February 2024’s “Gypsy Girl”; debut record Roll Shine Roll, recorded at Nicklin’s Henley Row Studios, is set for release later this year. It is dedicated to fallen bandmate and close friend Dave Mirabella, who passed away suddenly in April 2022.

Photo Credit: Chris Valle 

How did the band form and what does the band name mean?

The idea for Other Brother Darryl was thought up over 10 years ago and has been evolving ever since. It wasn’t until 2019 when the actual songwriting started in earnest. After writing the album, Covid happened. During that time we started recording the songs best we could. 

Thankfully we began then, because our bandmate Dave Mirabella passed away while we were in that process. Since then we’ve continued to shape the band in Dave’s spirit.

The name is taken from a Newhart reference. We thought it was a fun idea which speaks to the lighthearted vibe we keep in the band. It’s also a peculiar name for those who don’t get the reference. Especially when they’re like, “Who’s Darryl?”

Previous musical projects? How’d you first get into music?

Part of the reason it took Other Brother Darryl so long to become a band was because of our involvement with other projects. All of us have musical interests outside of this band to this day. Some of the past and present bands are The Rationales, Oldjack, Nate Leavitt and the Elevation and Walter Gold. We all got into music the same way; found something we were good at and could be passionate about.

 First concert that you ever went to? 

We’re all Gen Xers. So it’s safe to say it was probably some big names from the ‘80s like the Monsters of Rock tour, Prince or Huey Lewis and the News.

What’s your writing process like?

Writing “Gypsy Girl” continued the perspective we had of writing for someone else and not us. As a songwriter, especially when collaborating, feeling like you’re writing for someone or something outside of yourself is liberating. Other Brother Darryl is a concept much bigger than any of us as individuals.

 What other artists or songs inspire your music? 

When you call yourself Cosmic Canyon Rock and lean towards a late ‘60s early ‘70s aesthetic, Crosby, Stills & Nash must show up at least once (maybe twice). “Just A Song Before I Go” captures almost all our sensibilities and was the first tune that got multiple votes from the band when we sent out your question. So best it be first.

The Jayhawks' “Blue” is one of the songs that started this band. A deep love for The Jayhawks and Wilco who will show up later. The harmonies, the acoustic guitars and the rolling groovy drums that appear so much in our tunes all live here as well.

Golden Smog’s “Please Tell my Brother”… We like to think Brother Dave is singing this one to us somewhere out there. This one’s for Selene.

Orleans’ “Dance with Me.” Every band has to have goals. These harmonies; now there’s a goal. Plus the acoustics and groove are back and just the way we like ‘em. 

“I Need You.” Here we have the George Martin version of America’s classic. We are all fans of The Beatles and of course they are an influence, but here we get our love of the rock ballad and … there’s that drum sound again!

Speaking of drummers, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” by England Dan & John Ford Coley was on our drummer, Brother Danny’s list. He’s not looking for you to move in or change your life, but he hopes you like the playlist.

Wilco’s “Impossible Germany.” Just perfection.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Our House.” This song is name checked in our song “The Ballad of Joni and Graham.” Which is fitting since both are about their love – on the way up and after a crash.

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins’ “Rise Up with Fists”! Jenny had to make it somewhere and TBH it was a toss up of basically her whole catalog. But the harmonies of the Jenny and The Watson Twins is too much to ignore.

Chicago’s “Wishing You Were Here.” Brother Dan’s personal love of this tune meant it had to be here but the influence is undeniable. The longing on this tune affects all the senses.

Little River Band’s “Lady.” This one gets tossed around as a cover idea a lot. Though we have only covered other Boston artists so far. But these Aussie boys are a true gem.

The Rolling Stones’ “Torn and Frayed.” Exile is an influence on everyone, right… right? Everyone.

Beck’s “Guess I’m Doing Fine.” Another true disciple of the Canyon, Beck serves up gold on this one. Gold because it sounds like music from before there were platinum records.

Joni Mitchell’s “California.” Joni’s song would’ve been “Help Me” on this list but her catalog is pulled and the only thing out there is this wonderful version of “California” that the BBC clearly owns. 

And lastly, The Rationales’ “Ruby Colored Halo.” While we have all been other bands, Brother Dave was in The Rationales before he passed and so we add this one as a tribute to his greatness and his influence on the rest of us. From the ashes we rise!

We hope you enjoy – The Brothers Darryl

What’s the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it be its own thing?

We spend time orchestrating the instruments in the studio to fit the song. So we like to stay true to those ideas live. However we do like to keep room for some interpretation. It is a live performance after all and you can’t help but be in that moment. We also have a tradition of asking the audience to say, “Hi Dave” as a tribute to our Brother Dave, who is no longer with us.

 Has the band toured? What has the touring experience been, best shows?worst shows?

We play around the Boston area often. We haven’t toured yet because we’ve been focused on recording these tracks for the album. Once we have them finished we’ll get out on the road.

What’s up next for the band?
We’re planning on releasing some more singles after our latest, “Gypsy Girl.” And to continue working in the studio and finishing up the tracks and playing around town.


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