Comin' Up Landreth

By Zoratti, Jen | Winnipeg Free Press, December 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

Comin' Up Landreth


Zoratti, Jen, Winnipeg Free Press


Call it luck or hard work: everything has been falling into place for local band of brothers

It's been one hell of a year for the Bros. Landreth.

Ever since the Winnipeg roots-rock act founded by brothers Joey and Dave Landreth -- sons of veteran Winnipeg sideman/studio musician Wally Landreth -- released its debut album, Let it Lie, in 2013, the momentum hasn't slowed. In 2014 alone, the band, which includes Ryan Voth and Ariel Posen among its ranks, inked a deal with American label Slate Creek Records, was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and had its praises sung by none other than First Lady of Blues Bonnie Raitt, for whom the Bros. Landreth opened on the mainstage at this year's Winnipeg Folk Festival.

"I haven't liked a band as much as the Bros. Landreth in a long time," the Washington Times quoted her as saying. "To hear this kind of funky, Southern-style rock played with such originality and soul will knock you out."

High praise, indeed. And the band's profile will doubtless be bolstered by the U.S. release of Let it Lie via Slate Creek Records in January, which has already been advanced with a write-up in Billboard.

"It's been an incredible year," says Joey, 27, over a warm lunch on an unforgivably cold day in West Broadway. "We couldn't even begin to entertain the possibility of a thought of the idea that this year was going to be what it wound up being. It's just been fantastic. I think it's pretty well known that we were working musicians long before we had our own band. We've watched every artist that we've worked with struggle and really work hard. We work very hard --but we've also been very fortunate. We're incredibly grateful."

Joey and Dave are quick to credit their recent successes to serendipity. Take the U.S. record deal, for example. "We went to Nashville just because I played a lot of country music," Joey says, referring to his days as a sideman. "An opportunity presented itself and we went down there for three days at the end of a tour and came back with a record deal."

"It's not supposed to be that easy," Dave says. "It's supposed to be so much harder."

To hear them tell it, a lot seems to simply "fall into place" for the Bros. Landreth.

"It's less bombastic, but there's all these integral building blocks behind the scenes that people struggle and fight for forever, and those people just sort of found us," Dave says. "One of the top booking agents in the world was like, 'Let's work together.' Then we got one of the top publicists in the biz... Now we've got a machine behind us."

But there's some humility at play here, too; after all, it's not the sheer power of the cosmos or horseshoes in uncomfortable places that have put the Bros. Landreth on the path they're on. Their combination of raw talent and business-minded pragmatism counts for a lot; often, it's the brothers who have put themselves in the right place at the right time.

The brothers's personalities and skill sets complement each other well: Joey is the dreamer; his older brother Dave, 29, is the planner. When Dave says, "When you start a band, 90 per cent of the time it's..." both brothers finish the sentence at the same time with different conclusions. Dave says "administrative work," while Joey says "songwriting. …

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