Canadian folk rockers The Bros. Landreth originally dropped their debut albumLet It Liein their home country in 2013.
Initially a low-key independent release, it has steadily gained distribution overseas after being re-released in the States at the beginning of last year and midyear in the UK. Now the band is bringing those selfsame songs Down Under, securing both a Bluesfest slot and a Sydney headline show.
“It’s actually [been] almost three years since the record’s been out in Canada,” says guitarist and lead vocalist Joey Landreth, who formed the band with his brother, bassist and backing vocalist David. “It’s kind of funny, but with every step of the way, the album keeps sprouting legs in places.
“We keep getting given reasons to keep touring it. We just finished doing a week in the UK – that was our first time out there and it went really well. We’re having a lot of fun. It’s taken us to a lot of cool places, much further than we ever thought it would.”
The record’s gradual spread around the world has forced the band members to continually refresh their enthusiasm for the songs. While it’s been a test of faith, they spent a lot of time making sure they believed in the album material prior to its original release.
“That was kind of always the name of the game right out of the gate,” Landreth says. “Because of what my brother and I were doing professionally as musicians beforehand, our goal was never really to worry about anything beyond making sure the music we were making was honest.
“It’s definitely something we feel confident we can get behind [and] believe in. Touring the same record for the last three years definitely has its challenges, but you get to a new place and it gives you new life.
“If we can’t stand behind it night after night then we’re not going to do it – we’re not going to write it,” he adds. “[With Let It Lie] that’s what’s kept its integrity for us, and definitely helps having to play it for the last three years. We’re certainly ready to play some new songs, but we still feel like the music is fresh and relevant.”
While it’s not an overnight success story, the last couple of years have been very good to The Bros. Landreth. They’ve gained peer support (the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Trisha Yearwood are avowed fans) and critical accolades, snapping up the Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, and a nomination for International Artist of the Year at the UK Americana Music Awards. By virtue of this increased exposure, their next release won’t be a low-key affair, but they’re trying not to get distracted.
“I would hope that it wouldn’t inform too much of how we behave moving forward. I think that very much the same sort of motto is going to be applied. We’ve definitely tried to write more commercial material in the last couple of years, but if we can’t sit there and play it 200 nights a year, we just can’t do it.
“The success that we’ve had, it’s definitely a little freaky. We know that there are more eyes on us. But I think at the end of the day we’re just going to try our best to do things the way we did it the first time, which was trust our gut. It’s kind of a cliché hockey thing: you just give it 110 per cent. You play your heart out.”