There’s a saying that “blood is thicker than water,” and the Bihlman Bros. plan to prove that with their new reality TV show “Blood Brothers.”
Blues rockers Jabo and Scot Little Bihlman return to Northern Michigan to join their older brother Charlie as they spend the week shooting the pilot for their new show throughout the region.
The Northern Michigan rockers moved their operation out west where Jabo is part of the Las Vegas scene and brother Scot is involved in the L.A. and Hollywood happenings. The two return to Northern Michigan each summer for a couple of shows for the hometown fans. It was during one of those shows that the reality TV show was hatched.
“We were back for the Cherry Festival show this summer and our brother Charlie was hanging around and he got into his cantankerous self, and I was thinking this guy is a reality TV star,” said Jabo Bihlman. “I called filmmaker Alby Lombardo, who we were working with on another project, and he loved the concept.”
The initial idea is for Charlie to become the band’s tour manager and organize their upcoming European tour.
“Charlie is a guy who was a great welder, but is out of work. He knows nothing about the music business and he has this kind of ‘it is what it is’ approach to everything,” said filmmaker Alby Lombardo of Gravity Arch Films. “I don’t want to say that he is being set up for failure, but this goes against all the rules of the music business. I mean the Bihlman Bros. have this major two-month tour of Europe and you have this guy that is their big brother coordinating it all and he just doesn’t have a clue what he is getting himself into. This is going to be hilarious.”
Scot Little Bihlman agrees. “Imagine a person that is a cross between Larry the Cable Guy, Ozzy and Meatloaf. That is Charlie. He is a very fun-loving American, he has these quirky things that he does,” said Little Bihlman. “Some of the best laughs I have had in my life have been when I was hanging around Charlie. Now it all is going to be captured.”
‘ROUND THE REGION
The three brothers will be in town all week, arriving on Monday November 26 and making Crystal Mountain their home base. The week will feature the Bihlman’s visiting some of their favorite places around Northern Michigan. They are heading to a gun club to do some range shooting, then they are off to Boyne Mountain for the zipline and they will also enjoy a cigar at Nolan’s Cigar Lounge among other things.
“Some of these events are open to the public, like on Tuesday Morning we will be at Oryana as Charlie goes shopping for Scot’s gluten free items. I am sure he is going to be like what the hell is this,” said Lombardo. “As with any production, schedules can change so keep an eye on their website for up to date schedules.
The Bihlmans are hoping for a big turnout at a couple events.
“On Friday November 30 from 7 to 9 pm we are going to be at Lucky Jacks in Traverse City for bumper cars, bowling and a bunch of other fun stuff happening and this is where we are asking all of our fans to come out and be a part of this,” said Jabo. “You could end up on national TV. The Lucky Jacks event is really going to be cool and a lot of footage is going to be shot here.”
The Bihlmans really wanted to make sure their hometown of Northern Michigan was highlighted in their “Blood Brothers” show. There is a lot of interest in the show already even before the first scene has been shot, with one major network asking for the first right of refusal after the pilot is completed.
“We can’t reveal who is interested, as that is the way it works in Hollywood,” said Lombardo. “There are a lot of story lines here. In addition to this inexperienced road manager there is general intrigue of the life of rock stars on the road. There is this assumption that every night is one big party, but life on the road is work with long days and you go to all of these romantic places around the world. You are not there to play, you are there to work.”
The Bihlman’s musical journey has taken them around the world. They have toured with major names in the industry, won Emmy awards, and have had their music featured in the movies and TV shows.
Little Bihlman has acted on TV and commercials and Jabo has a best-selling guitar instructional DVD. One of their songs is also slated to appear on the final episode of “Sons of Anarchy” this year. Now, they are turning their attention to becoming reality TV stars.
“Well, we are excited about this. It is going to be fun but music is what we are about and that will remain our focus,” said Jabo. “In fact, we owe a lot to where we are at today to Terri Ray of WKLT. She is going to have us on her KLT’s Garage program on Sunday December 2 at 9 pm. That will be filmed for the show, as will our appearance on the Omelette & Friends Show on Friday morning from 8 am to 10 am. They played the crap out of our music and Terri has been our biggest cheerleader.”
The six days of filming will conclude on Saturday night with what the Bihlman Bros. do best -- performing a live show.
“Yes, we are doing a concert at Union Street on Saturday. There are no advance tickets so this should be interesting,” said Little Bihlman. “It is going to be first-come, first-serve that night. We plan to hit the stage around 9 pm, so we will see how Charlie handles his first show.”
After their Northern Michigan filming the pilot will be completed and the plan is to have a TV deal in place before the Bihlman’s head to Europe in April.
Anyone interested in participating in their reality show “Blood Brothers” should follow the filming schedule on bihlmanbros.com with the biggest night being Friday, November 30 at Lucky Jacks from 7 to 9 pm. Details for the Union Street concert were still being worked out at press time; contact the club at 231-941-1930 for ticket information.