The Crooked Brothers Return To Plan B

There is a folk renaissance taking place in music. While some might argue that this renaissance has been in fact taking place over the course of several years with the rise of bands like The Avett Brothers and others, the sheer number of folk-inspired acts whose music harkens back to a time before electronics and Pro Tools only seems to be growing.

Enter Winnipeg’s The Crooked Brothers. The outstanding trio of musicians that comprise the band — Matt Foster, Jesse Matas and Darwin Baker — deliver a sound so authentically rooted in the past, don’t be surprised to be double-checking the CD sleeve to ensure that this music was in fact made this century.

The group’s latest record, Lawrence Where’s Your Knife, is a haunting, sparse-sounding collection of songs that draw from a rich history of folk music combined with hints of back porch blues.

The Crooked Brothers perform at Plan B Lounge, located at 212 St. George Street, next Thursday evening, Aug. 9.

The group recently returned from their first European tour, a trip that saw them play for audiences in France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and more. Crooked Brother Matt Foster says the experience isn’t something that they will be forgetting anytime soon.

“Touring Europe was a serious dream come true for us,” he begins. “It was something that was rather surreal to be a part of. It is a little hard to believe that these songs of ours are taking us all over the world.”

Foster admits that prior to embarking on their European tour, he and his band mates Baker and Matas were a little nervous at the prospect of performing before such avid music lovers. In the end though, he says that European audiences extended them a warm embrace.

“We were slated to play a handful of bluegrass festivals, and were worried what everyone’s impression would be once we they realized we don’t play bluegrass at all. We play all the right instruments and might look the part, but when we started growling and singing the blues, I was worried we wouldn’t be ‘bluegrass’ enough to fit in. It turned out that we didn’t have any reason to worry at all; music lovers love music. It’s a universal thing.”

The Crooked Brothers show at Plan B next week will be a part of the group’s second tour of Atlantic Canada. Like the group’s European tour, Foster has nothing but fond memories of their prior excursion to Atlantic Canada, stating that they felt a special energy that he considered to be almost unique to communities in this end of the country.

As Lawerence, Where’s Your Knife approaches its first anniversary next month, The Crooked Brothers are getting set to wrap up promotional duties behind the record. Their show at Plan B next week will be a ‘last hurrah’ of sorts before the band begins the task of writing material for a new record.

“We have been doing a lot of writing,” he shares. “We’re also very passionate about the recording side of music and are not scared to take our time. A new record is on the way but it is in the slow cooker, so to speak. Making an album isn’t just two weeks in a fancy studio, as far as we are concerned. We pour a lot of heart, discipline and dedication into making a record and tend to make it more of a lifestyle that we set out to live for a month or two. And hopefully at the end of it, we end up with something beautiful to share with others.”

Article published in August 3, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript