In late February 2014 the DownTown Mystic cd was going strong at Americana Radio. Disaster nearly struck as I was in an accident but managed to come out ok. When I got home I found out that the single Way To Know had crossed over and gone to #1, with the album at #3 on the Roots Rock Report Alt/Rock Charts. What a surreal feeling!
About a week or so later, on the mend, I would come across this unknown indie band from Manitoba Canada called The Bros. Landreth. I checked out their music, and just like with The Band of Heathens, I was hooked on 1st listening. The track Tappin’ On the Glass was immediate. So much so, I decided I would “pay it forward”, as it were. Since DownTown Mystic was enjoying some success, I sent an email out to the Americana Radio panel to let them know about this great new band from Canada.
I got an email back from Dave Stratton, the PD at WQBR, who’s been a big supporter of mine at Radio. He wanted to know how he could get his hands on the music, so I went on Amazon to buy The Bros. Landreth Let it Lie cd and had Amazon ship it directly to him. Dave really liked the cd and told me that he would be playing the band, which I thought was really cool of him. So did the band when I contacted them via their website.
Dave Landreth wrote me back and was so grateful for what I had done and thanked me profusely for it. I told him it was my pleasure to help in any way that I could. They made a great record and I thought people should know about it. Just like BoH, they were DIY, doing their own recordings and jumping in a van to tour around and play. I told Dave that if they were ever in NYC to let me know.
We stayed in touch over the next months and recently they announced that they had signed a Recording Deal with Slate Creek Records. It turns out that Slate Creek President Garth Fundis heard them play a show in Nashville and offered them a contract on the spot! It’s reassuring to know that there are still some good “ears” out there in this industry. 🙂
As it would happen, The Bros. Landreth were coming to play their 1st show in NYC in late September, on the heels of their strong showing at the Americana Festival in Nashville the previous week. So strong in fact that they got their photo and a write-up in Rolling Stone for being one of the standout acts at this year’s festival. I emailed Dave to let him know that I was looking forward to seeing the band and finally meeting him.
I was on hand to welcome them to NYC. Again, like BoH, they’re super nice people who love what they’re doing. The Bros. Landreth, Dave & Joey, both thanked me again for helping to spread the word about them. I told them I was happy to help people who inspire me. I also gave them copies of the DownTown Mystic cd to introduce myself to them musically.
Their NYC set was real strong; with the band covering Paul McCartney’s Let ‘Em In as well as one from their musician father Wally. Unlike BoH, which has a couple of writers, The Bros. Landreth’s main writer is Joey. He’s a “triple threat”…meaning he writes great songs, plays killer slide guitar and has an incredible voice, that can be soft and soulful or rock out with the best of them!
At only 27 years of age, Joey’s already an “old pro”, having started playing and touring with name artists while still in high school. Older brother Dave, at 29, also has an extensive resume in touring around the world with Canadian artists. Putting a band together would seem to be a natural progression for the brothers. They enlisted long time cohort Ryan “Rhino” Voth to play drums and Alex Campbell on keyboards for the album, but replaced Alex with killer guitarist Ariel Posen for the live show. Just my kind of band—2 guitars , bass and drums! 🙂
After the show I got a chance to talk with Joey about some of his writing and guitar influences, particularly slide guitar, and the influence of the late great Lowell George of Little Feat. Like most kids, the parents’ taste in music plays a big influence and Joey and Dave’s dad Wally played a big part in their musical tastes. I told Joey that I heard a big Bruce Hornsby influence in his writing on the song Greenhouse. Joey smiled and said that he was a huge fan of Hornsby and was happy to hear that I had picked up on it and that it showed on that song.
Again, it was very cool to have stumbled onto this unknown band and months later be talking to them in person on a one to one level. It was also very cool to see that in 6 months’ time they were no longer that unknown. By the look of it, I think they’re going to be more and more known as more people discover this great band. The Bros. Landreth new album comes out on Slate Creek Records in January 2015. Keep an ear and eye out for it.
Such is the power of music—to pick us up when we’re feeling down, as well as deliver us to new heights with inspiration. It’s been a power in my life and I hope it continues to grow stronger, allowing me to discover more talents like The Band of Heathens and The Bros. Landreth. 🙂
Check out The Bros. Landreth