The Bowline Brothers

Posted by: Caroline Geib - October 23, 2023

It’s no surprise Tommy Auckland (Missouri, 2022) and Blake Hager (Missouri, 2023) landed at the University of Missouri, where they formed their band, The Bowline Brothers. Their moms are best friends who attended the University of Missouri, and Auckland and Hager are not only close childhood friends born and bred in Kansas City, they are Delta Tau Delta brothers from Gamma Kappa Chapter.

“We've kind of always made music together; as kids, we did a little bit, but it was, you know, just kid music,” Hager said.

Their lifelong friendship influenced the band's name based on a type of knot called a Bowline knot. They chose the reference to this king of knots because they are “(k)not brothers.”

Auckland and Hager claim they started the band as a way to avoid a summer job, but they didn’t know where it would lead. “It started for real at Mizzou. I think it was Tommy's last year and we were just kicking it, probably whining about getting real jobs a little bit, and kind of just considered giving this a go. Then, you know, we're still doing it,” Hager said.

Music lessons were never their thing, so they learned how to play and read music partially on their own. Auckland plays the piano, guitar and bass guitar, while Hager plays piano. They also write and sing all of their songs.

“It's a different process every time. One of us will write lyrics, and the other writes a riff, and then we figure it out together, or, you know, all kinds of different ways to do it,” Hager said.

They cannot do it all on their own, though. They have worked with many other artists, saying the first time they play together, it feels a bit like a first date. These members of the band include a former bass player and a drummer.

“Having a bass player was awesome, but when he left, it kind of opened up new opportunities for us to develop our kind of thing,” Hager said.

Auckland and Hager believe that change is never bad and can always have a positive spin. They were lucky enough to get introduced to their producer through a high school friend at a live event.

“Part of the reason why we like to play live as much as we do is you get to meet a lot of people you can work with,” Hager said.

The Bowline Brothers Band finished recording their first EP “Don’t Fall Asleep,” about a year ago through a two-month process with a two-week recording period.

“It's pretty easy to get stuff on Spotify and Apple Music these days,” Auckland said.

In the near future, Auckland and Hagar plan to make the pivot from performing cover music to playing their original music.

“The majority of our show ends up being cover music because that's what people at the bars want to hear,” Hager said.

After Hager finishes his last semester at the University of Missouri, they dream of using the band to support themselves full-time.

“Practicing by yourself or even with the band, there's not the energy you get from a crowd and people, you know, enjoying it and feeling the music,” Hager said.

Visit the Bowline Brothers Band website here for updates on new music, live performances, and more.