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Five Turner Brothers 'druther play as one

When music and family blend, the result can be harmonious.

Such is the case with The Turner Brothers Band, five men who have played music together for decades and professionally for the 11 past years.

They practice twice weekly at Jeremiah's house, playing their sets of "danceable, classic rock covers from the '60s to the '90s," as well as original songs and all kinds of other music, including Christmas songs with their families during the holidays.

The brothers range in age from 30-43, and among them have nine children ages 3-19. The Turner family moved to Sequim from Seattle in 1981, and all of them - Bud, Eric, Jeremiah, Craig and -Josh - graduated from Sequim High School.

""I got my first guitar when I was 9 and I've never looked back. It's my passion," said Jeremiah, who plays lead guitar and sings. When he's not playing music, he manages the kitchen at the Oak Table Café.

"When I was a kid, I idolized these guys," said Josh, the youngest, a woodworker at Endless Efforts in Sequim.

"I started playing drums at 15, and when I was 18, the band's drummer was out one night and I got put in as a sub. It was the coolest thing ever! I was the last link."

That was New Year's Eve weekend in 1998 at Oh! Gallagher's Pub in Port Angeles, and ever since then, they've been playing at least one gig a month together at 7 Cedars Casino, Castaways, Oasis and private parties.

On May 2, The Turner Brothers Band won the

7 Cedars Casino Battle of the Bands. Vying for first place against The Jimmy Hoffman Band and Big Fine Daddies, each band played a 75-minute set to packed houses on both Friday and Saturday nights.

"It was fun hanging out with the other bands - they are our local competition, but it was all very friendly and fun backstage," said Jeremiah.

Every time patrons got a drink at the bar, they could place a vote for their favorite band and get a raffle ticket to win a guitar.

"In the end, we won first place, and my wife Darcey won the guitar," said Bud, the eldest brother, a graphic artist, sign maker and totem pole carver for the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe in Blyn.

Bud started singing in bars at 15, picked up the bass guitar and back-up vocals at 19. Then he played blues bass and lead vocals in a band for a few years. Now he's the band's lead singer and keyboardist.

"Actually, three of us sing lead," he said, "me, Jeremiah and Josh.

"Between my art and this music, I'm a happy camper."

The Turners may have inherited their musical talent from Uncle Bud (their mother's brother), who played guitar and piano, and music has been the glue that has kept the Turner brothers bonded.

"Music kept me out of trouble growing up," said Eric, a kitchen manager and chef.

"For us, there is no break between family and music."

Eric started out playing drums but later switched to bass guitar.

"In order for all five of us to play together, I had to play bass," he said.

Craig, also known as "the professor," was fairly quiet throughout the interview, but when prompted, he revealed that he had begun playing piano at age 6 in California, and moved to Sequim at age 9, where he met Jeremiah and they became fast friends. He played trumpet in the Sequim High School band and later a friend introduced him to guitar.

"He's not a Turner by blood, but he's a member of our family," said Jeremiah.

"He's been with us since I was 5," added Josh.

"He's our adopted brother," said Eric, "and we're really proud to say that."

Craig Werts plays rhythm guitar, works as a yacht electrician for Townsend Bay Marine in Port Townsend and as a sound man at 7 Cedars Casino on weekends.

"We're just family guys," said Jeremiah, "and we're lucky to have wives who are willing to deal with our music." Jeremiah's wife Nancy, Josh's wife Katy, Craig's wife Lori and Bud's wife Darcey are supportive of their husbands' musical time together.

After their gig at Club 7 on June 6, the brothers plan to take a break for a few months to work on original music and play some private parties.



Betty Oppenheimer is publications specialist for the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe. Reach her at

boppenheimer@james towntribe.org.

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