By John Stran
The Labra Brothers’ recent show at the Canfield Fair is a step forward in their goal of one day making their musical talents their main source of income.
The band played Saturday at the stage located near the Western Reserve Village from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. David Labra, vocalist, guitarist and saxophonist for the band, said the fair crowd, although swarming and daunting to some, did not faze his demeanor.
“Being in a band with your brothers definitely helps calms the on-stage nerves,” David Labra said.
David Labra also said that playing with his brothers helps him be a better musician.
“Because we’re brothers, I feel we push each more than other bands,” David Labra said. “We’re not afraid to call each other out if one of us makes a mistake.”
He plays with brothers Adrian Labra, lead vocalist and guitarist, and Cristian Labra, bassist and vocalist. Together, they create a blend of funk, Latin and R&B, which Adrian Labra said pulls from influences like Santana and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“Our grooves and high energy definitely give us a unique sound, especially for Youngstown music, and I feel that is what helps draw people into our music,” Adrian Labra said.
David Labra credits their three-part harmonies for sparking listeners’ interest in the band
“Our harmonies are a staple for our music and when we mix that with a Latin song, it really stands out,” David Labra said.
The number of band members vary, playing live with as little as four to as many as eight and alternating between two drummers who graduated from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. The band covers songs by John Mayer, Alabama Shakes and Los Lonely Boys with their unique style, and plays some original tunes.
One of their more popular originals is titled “Sin Solución” from their self-titled EP. The band is currently working on a full-length album and hopes to release a single in the next three to four months, but they said minor setbacks sometimes arise from school and work.
David Labra is an engineering major at YSU and Cristian is a marketing major at Kent State University. David Labra said they are both attending school as a backup plan to music.
“The end goal is to have a career of making people feel good with our music,” David Labra said. “If I could support myself and a family, I would leave school in a second.”
Cristian Labra said he tries to correlate his major with the music and think of new ways he can promote the band.
Adrian Labra, a YSU graduate, said he knew about three years ago that their music should become the main priority in his life, a decision that for him and his brothers came without hesitation.
“It’s passion versus career,” David Labra said. “And if you can make passion work, you have to go for it.”
The Labra Brother’s next performance will be Sept. 16 at Cedars in downtown Youngstown.