The Bros. Landreth
Born to a musical family, both sons took to the craft early and quickly. Joey played the guitar before he could speak and Dave experimented with every instrument in the house before eventually settling comfortably on his Dad’s old bass guitar. Their father, much respected songwriter and side-man, Wallace Landreth, was an institution in his own right in the Winnipeg music scene where the boys were raised and began to pay their own dues. Wally toured the continent as a musician and developed a wealth of experience that he would pass on to his two young sons. Almost prophetically, Joey in his early teenage years followed in his father’s footsteps as a working freelance musician. He was touring across the country and playing nightclubs while he was still finishing high school. In no time Joey quickly amassed a star-studded resumé. He has since toured and recorded with One More Girl, The Wyrd Sisters, Dallas Smith, Deric Ruttan, Steve Bell, and most recently with Juno and CCMA winners, Doc Walker. Meanwhile, his older brother Dave took a similar approach and set to work developing a reputation for his simple and solid bass playing. He’s extensively toured North America, Europe, and Australia with such Canadian talent as Romi Mayes, Chris Carmichael, “Big Dave” McLean, Ridley Bent, and currently is the bass player for indie-pop group, Imaginary Cities. To complete the band The Bros. have called on drummer and long-time musical cohort: Ryan “Rhino” Voth. A child-hood friend, he’s grown up playing and working with both Landreths, together and separate, in an innumerable combination of musical outings. Some of his most notable credits as a side man include Del Barber, Daniel ROA, Oh My Darling, The New Lightweights, and Fred Penner.
All three hail from the sprawling southern Manitoba prairies and they are fiercely proud to call Winnipeg home. “We’re at the epicenter of this great artistic hub, smack dab in the middle of the coldest place in the known universe.” Dave playfully exaggerates. “We have to write and play just to stay warm half the year... It becomes a creative incubator – a survival technique!” The end result of these exercises in self-preservation are The Bros. Landreth’s songs. They are alt-country road maps that are sometimes auto-biographical – hinting at the fallout of a life as a touring musician, and occasionally fictional – exploring melancholy themes of love gone bad, love gone worse, and the repercussions of being smitten with a stripper. Their record offers a wide variety of music. “Greenhouse” is a dark ballad sung from the perspective of a suicide victim that offers a hint of hope for the lover that was left behind. “Can’t Help Myself” contrasts the serious tone as a playful and catchy shuffle. It showcases the band’s ferocious musicianship, deep pocket, and puts a special emphasis on Joey’s uniquely expressive guitar playing. He describes the character that the poppy, harmony-laden “Tappin’ on the Glass” is inspired by: “Do you remember Looney Tunes? There was that character, Elmyra? She was always harassing her pet fish, constantly tapping on it’s bowl saying ‘Hello little fishy!’ Well, that song is about the fish…” Another track – and a nod to the archetypes of country music – “Runaway Train” serves as a cautionary tale, warning would-be suitors of the dangers of falling for the protagonist.
Ultimately, the tapestry of diverse influence that makes up their musical pedigree never stands in the way of the most important element:
Their songs speak for themselves.
They unravel unselfconsciously, like an old sweater. Worn in, not worn out.
The Bros. Landreth will be out on the road in 2013, investing their own blood and sweat in support of their much anticipated first release.