READERS’ ROCHESTER

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The digital version of the 2016-17 Explore Greater Rochester is now available! To access it, click on the image above. 

 

MY ROCHESTER

Tommy Brunett president, Sixteen Ton, and musician, Tommy Brunett Band

Roots:

Webster—the woods surrounding Irondequoit Bay were my playground.

 

What you did then:

Jumping garbage cans on my bike, fishing with my father and grandfather around Port Bay, and Christmas Eves at our house. Your feet would stick to the kitchen floor the next day from spilled cocktails. Seemed like the whole world would come over that one night.

 

What you do now:

Try to be the best father/husband I can be, bark and bend strings with the Tommy Brunett Band, and I’m launching a whiskey, Iron Smoke whiskey, with two other fine fellas, Dan Lynch and Steve Brown. It’s apple-wood smoked and it tastes amazing. It’ll make your socks roll up and down. Comes out this October. We also have a branding and design company, Sixteen Ton—top-notch creative from a world-class team of thought leaders. All of this is more like a collective of great people making things happen.

 

How long you’ve been doing it:

Easy now; this is a family program.

 

Family:

I married my best friend, Jen, and we have two boys. They go by the names of Cash, 5, and Jagger, 4. I can say this about it: Parenting rewires you as a person and brings true unconditional love into the human experience. It completes you in so many ways.

For fun (days):

Most of my days are filled with work right now. I really never stop having fun though. Everything is combined at this point. I love what I do and the people around me keep me inspired. They’re like a tribe of amazingly smart, creative and all-around great people on an expedition through the creative and bankable Congo. It’s the perfect mix of art and commerce.

 

At night:

I eat up life with two giant spoons with friends and family.

 

Helping out: I’m on the Roc City Skate Park board. Through Sixteen Ton and the band I’m connected to: the Generosity Store, Holy Childhood, Golisano Children’s Hospital, CMAC, the Genesee Charter School, Mount Hope Family Center, the Cobblestone School and E2NY. I also play as many benefit concerts as possible.

 

Memories:

Playing on the "Today Show," "Conan" and my biggest show ever, in Dallas in front of 30,000 people when I was touring in the band Modern English. Those are pretty much my top three all-around good memories to have kickin’ around upstairs.

 

Early music:

My first concert was Kiss at the Dome Arena. I wasn’t old enough to be out that late, but my cousin snuck me out and now my kids are into them. Kiss changed my little life back then.

 

Local joint to take out-of-towners:

No secret here: Lunch at Genesee Brew House. And you can’t beat summers at Marge’s—especially just before sunset.

 

What you like about Rochester:

The fact that we have the visionary spirit of people like Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and George Eastman practically running through the faucets. And of course we have Genny beer, Marge’s, the Dady Brothers, CMAC and Iron Smoke whiskey!

 

Future hopes:

Home of one of the largest outdoor skate parks in North America and that we continue to grow our community with a focus on children’s education and youth-oriented programs. They're our future. We owe it to them.

 

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