The Bros. Landreth
Harvest Moon Festival, Clearwater
Saturday, Sept. 19
Passes: $30-$75 at harvestmoonfestival.ca
Burton Cummings Theatre, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 17
Tickets $29.50 at Ticketmaster
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/8/2015 (2165 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Bros. Landreth have spent most of this year building on the momentum generated from their explosive emergence on the music scene in 2014.
The Winnipeg roots-rock quartet released its debut album, Let It Lie, in the United States in January after its successful release in Canada. Since then, the quartet has been touring non-stop south of the border to support it.
"To sum up this year in a couple of words: just a lot of shows and a lot of miles under our feet," says guitarist/vocalist Joey Landreth (he and his sibling Dave are the brothers in Bros. Landreth) via phone from Toronto before heading to the airport to leave for a set of European shows.
"To be honest, we’re excited when anybody buys our records and comes to our shows, so I think our record label would have liked to see more records sold, but we’re thrilled," says Landreth of the U.S. release. "A constant theme that we keep in the back of our minds is when we started the band, we had no expectations or really intentions for it — it was just a way that we could hang out — and so any little win for the band is actually pretty massive for us... all in all, I would say it’s been a success."
The group, rounded out by David on bass and vocals, Ryan Voth on drums and Ariel Posen on guitar, has had its fair share of successes already this year, most notably a Juno Award win for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year.
The Junos were a side of the music industry none of them had experienced before — the crowds of photographers and the industry shmoozing were a bit of a shock to their humble systems.
"I think up until this year, I liked to tell myself that I’m a seasoned veteran. I’ve been a professional musician for over 10 years — I’ve seen a lot of things and experienced a lot of things, but nothing prepared me for the Junos, and certainly not for the win," says Landreth.
That’s not false modesty talking; the band was wholly unprepared to take home a trophy. In typical, self-deprecating-Winnipegger fashion, they decided not to get their hopes up by writing a speech. Instead, they got dolled up with their partners, planning to enjoy the night and the free dinner.
When they won, they were forced to go up onstage and bumble their way through an awkward acceptance speech, the video of which is still floating around on YouTube.
They laugh about the moment now, but at the time, Landreth says, it was a little overwhelming and very unexpected.
The Bros. Landreth have been nominated for another award this year, a Canadian Country Music Award (CCMA) for Roots Artist of the Year, but they’ll be on tour and unable to attend the Sept. 13 ceremony, so there’s no risk of a repeat of the Junos speech.
The CCMAs, unlike the Junos, are nothing new for Landreth. His time as a touring musician with country acts such as Doc Walker and Emerson Drive means he has attended the CCMAs numerous times. He does find it ironic that the one year his group is nominated, he can’t be there.
"I’ve been at the CCMAs pretty much every year since 2007, and this is the first year I’m not going. Lo and behold, we’re nominated... it’s hilarious and it’s bittersweet," he says, chuckling.
Though Landreth says awards are generally the lowest thing on the band members’ radar, they are honoured to be recognized in that way, if only because it means people are listening to their music.
"That’s ultimately the end goal — we make music because we love it, because it makes us feel good and it helps us become the best versions of ourselves, and because we want people to listen to what we gotta say, so it’s pretty cool," he says.
And if the awards and the tours weren’t enough to keep them busy, the Bros. also have new musical opportunities coming down the pipe. They signed with streaming service Spotify for an exclusive EP of five cover songs they usually perform at their live sets and the band plans to take a few days in September to start fleshing out some tunes for their sophomore album.
"We’re kind of always trying to work on new material, but it’s been so hard since we’ve been travelling so much. You always say that you’re gonna write on the road, but it just so rarely happens," says Landreth. "We’re looking forward to some dedicated writing time, so, hopefully, there’s some new music coming soon."
The Bros. will be back in Manitoba soon for two shows. They play the Harvest Moon Festival in Clearwater on Sept. 19 and then hit the Burton Cummings Theatre on Oct. 17.
After spending so much time on the road in the past seven months, Landreth says they look forward to playing in front of a crowd they know is there just for them.
"The hometown show, at least for us, it’s one of the only places where absolutely everyone in the crowd is there to see us, so that’s pretty exhilarating. You can feel the crowd humming. We’ve yet to have a Winnipeg show that we didn’t walk away from feeling absolutely buzzed," he says.
"It’s a wonderful thing — there’s nothing like coming home."
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Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.