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This article was published 31/7/2015 (2046 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Two Transcona brothers have come a long way in the music game since they first started banging around on instruments in their grandma’s garage.
"She had our uncle’s drums, our uncle’s old bass guitar down there. I had my little amp plugged in," recalled Jason Petric, 25, with a smile. "From that point, when we were 13, to 10 years later, it’s crazy."
Jason and his brother Tom, 23, are born and bred Transcona "pop loving country boys" with their sights set on the big time. Since those early days in grandma’s basement, the two have worked tirelessly at their craft.
Performing as Petric, the two recently inked a record deal with SteelHead Music after a chance encounter with Dallas Smith following a showcase at last year’s JunoFest here in Winnipeg.
"He’d been through the wringer in the music industry," Jason said of the former Default singer, who has enjoyed a successful second career in the music industry as a country singer. "He told us that he really just wanted to give somebody a chance in country music."
Petric’s sound fits nicely into the modern country radio format, a result of seasoned chops and a strong pop sensibility. Jason’s guitar work and vocal harmonies complement Tom’s voice up front.
"Tom always grew up singing," Jason said. "At four years old he was singing songs, and singing pretty good."
"For a four-year-old," Tom added, laughing.
While the Petric family wasn’t overly musical, they were encouraging of the boys’ early interest.
"They certainly raised us on music," Jason said. "They always had country music on. Mom liked country, and dad liked rock."
While Jason played trumpet in school band at John W. Gunn Middle School, it wasn’t until he and Tom were students at Transcona Collegiate Institute that they really started running down their musical dreams.
"I was doing my thing right out of high school. I started writing songs, recording," Jason said.
"He was dead set on this," confirmed Tom.
During their late teens, the Petric boys performed in various bands and solo projects. They got their first real live breaks at the Royal George Hotel (123 Regent Ave. West).
"We basically grew up playing in the Royal George," Jason said. "A good old Transcona bar, they gave us an opportunity to play onstage, make a little bit of money and practise. We played there when there was five people at the bar, and four of them probably didn’t realize there was a band playing."
Between appearances onstage, the boys were working hard behind the scenes.
"We were going down to Nashville, we were getting showcases, writing with people," Jason said. "We had the project, but we didn’t know where it was going to end up."
Now, with a song on the radio (appropriately titled "Here Goes Everything"), and the finishing touches being put on their debut CD, Jason and Tom are preparing for some upcoming high profile gigs around Manitoba. On Aug. 8, Petric are performing at Portage La Prairie’s Potato Festival, sharing the stage with Aaron Pritchett. And on Aug. 22, they boys will be in Wasagaming, Man., with Brett Kissel for another big outdoor show.
"I really just like performing for people, seeing their reaction," said Tom. "It’s an awesome feeling."
The Herald community journalist
Sheldon Birnie is the reporter/photographer for The Herald. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7112