often say, “It runs in the family.” This Northern Michigan family is all too
familiar with the phrase, and in their case, it refers to the musical talent
running generations deep- spanning the decades.
Penny Jean (31) and her younger brother, Radel Rosin (25) grew up performing at
a very young age on stage.
Originally from Frederic, MI and now residing in Grayling, the brother-sister
duo officially began their current band, Oh Brother, Big Sister two years ago.
Describing their music as ‘an eclectic sensation,’ the band’s sound is
influenced by The Beatles, The Civil Wars, Simon & Garfunkel and early jazz
Their sound is ever-changing, thanks to harmonies, arrangements and exploration
with layers, didgeridoos and more.
Big sister Penny spoke about how the pair makes music.
“Radel plays many instruments (including a didgeridoo) and he loops them live
into a Boss RC-30 loop machine,” she said. “He often adds vocal percussion with
beatboxing and other vocal techniques as only a little brother could! We then
layer harmonies on the track.”
Coming from a small town, described as ‘a small speck on the mitten,’ the two
grew up as entertainers, performing on stage very early on.
“In our family you were on a stage at age three and usually in front of a
sizable crowd too,” she said.
Penny spoke about the duo’s front-and-center stage time back in the early days.
are the only two kids in our family,” Penny said of her and her brother. “Our
parents have encouraged us to learn every musical thing we could. Our dad's
family is extremely musical. All of our cousins are musicians as well. Zie Rosin
(another Michigan Artist) and the band Barsie (based in Utah). We all grew up in
the same small town, (most of us were homeschooled) and performed in variety
shows, talent shows and parents all over the state.”
Rehearsing songs for fun, their aunt Stacey then encouraged them to think about
music more seriously. The duo owes much of their performance ability to her,
according to Penny.
“She booked us, wrote our material, choreographed and coached us constantly. It
was really the best childhood ever.”
Despite growing up five years apart, Penny said the two have always been very
“We used to write songs together in our parents garage loft that they built to
house our instruments and then stocked it with pretty much every instrument you
can think of,” she said.
Aside from stocking a garage full of gear, Penny and Radel’s parents also taught
them the impact of being positive.
“Our parents were awesome at teaching us the power of positive thinking and I
think that has brought us where we are today,” Penny said. “If you can be a
genuine, kind, responsible person you can do well at anything you want to do.”
Along with their parent’s support, the two credit much of their music ability
even farther back to their grandparents who raised them on classic jazz music.
“Our grandparents did an awesome job of educating us in the music they loved.
Our Grandpa Rosin was born in 1923 and has helped us develop a huge love for
jazz,” Penny said.
And the musical family talent doesn’t stop there: one of their favorite Michigan
artists is their cousin Zie Rosin. “We could listen to her original music
forever,” Penny said.
Other local artist favorites include Aaron Dye. “He writes the songs you wish
you would have,” said Penny.
“The Ragbirds have been one of Radel's favorites for a long time we will be
playing another show with them on Radel's birthday this November. The
Accidentals are of course another favorite!”
Working with fellow Michigan artists is a fresh outlet for the band’s creative
“We have some fun collaborations coming up in our new album including three
songs with The Accidentals. We have some live collaborations coming up as well
with Kellerville and Knuckle Fuss.”
Brother, Big Sister continues to dream big, touring nationwide and handling the
business and booking side of things by themselves. While it’s a full-time job in
itself, Penny also raises her four kids; but she can’t imagine it any other way.
“Our short time as Oh Brother Big Sister has been a bit of a whirlwind and we
are loving every minute of it,” she said.
“We just returned from a two week tour we called the Head West Tour where we had
the opportunity to meet up with our cousins and their band Barsie which was a
blast. We honestly have just loved all of the support that we have received from
everyone. It makes what we do so rewarding!”
Besides more touring through the mitten state and surrounding areas this winter
and spring, the duo hopes to have their new full-length album, Thanks & Praise
is also in the works, hoping to be released by Christmas.
While it may be ‘all in the family’ for this harmonizing duo, their family is
growing day-by-day within the state’s soundscapes.
“Michigan's music scene is unlike any other,” she said. “We love the family that
has formed in the music community and the fans are so supportive! Our recent
tour was a blast but there really is no place like home!”