Shakers and Tambourines
by Todd Smith

The wake of the Seattle scene in the early Nineties had some disastrous results for some bands. Company of Wolves was a strong road-ready bar band prepared to crack what looked like a fertile field. They had a solid debut and were on the road with Richard Marx, Salty Dog and LA Guns. But before the ink had dried on their PolyGram contract, Company of Wolves were in trouble. Nirvana was coming.

Baltimore native Kyf Brewer, the vocalist for the band, had seen success in The Ravens when their pop-hit Raised On The Radio lit up the Fast Times At Ridgemont High soundtrack. Though The Ravens immediately signed to MCA and released a full-length record, success eluded them and Brewer left in 1985 moving to New York.

“I met a producer working with Kiss who introduced me to Steve (Conte) who was working with Glenn Burtnick (Styx),” remembers Brewer from his Bucks county home. “We wrote The Distance in two days. We totally clicked. Then when it came time to look for a bass player I saw Steve’s brother John and knew he had to be in the band.” Frankie Larocka (ex-Bryan Adams, John Waite touring bands) came in on drums and rounded out the sound. By ‘87 the Company of Wolves were up and running.

“The Wolves didn’t mean to be as heavy as they were,” defends Brewer. “We got plopped into that metalhead thing. But we weren’t really metal; we were like an R&B band. We wanted to be the new Faces.” Recently released from the band is a compilation of demos Company of Wolves recorded to land their recording deal entitled
Shakers and Tambourines. The songs are a mixed bag of Blues/hard rock landing somewhere between Springsteen and Bon Jovi; catchy, moody and hook-laden. Brewer also has two solo CD’s out, Me And My Big Mouth and the killer Salvador Deli. Deli explores Brewer’s original Faces direction in the standout Splattered All Over The Highway. Brewer’s creativity has translated well to TV with several songs on WB’ Dawson’s Creek. His voice can be heard weekly on VH1’s Before They Were Rockstars.

Kyf Brewer