STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
The day after the triumph of a sold out show in Toronto, The Bros. Landreth are driving across northern Ontario.
Touring behind their debut album “Let It Lie,” the band is scheduled to make their third area appearance May 7 at Milkboy Philly. “We’re looking very much forward to coming back,” said singer and main songwriter Joey Landreth.
Landreth and his brother, Dave, get a lot of surprised reactions when their audiences learn that they’re from Winnipeg. It’s because their music is a natural-sounding amalgamation of heartfelt Allman Brothers southern rock, the bluesy swing of Little Feat and the harmonies and southern California twang of The Eagles. Landreth gave a couple of reasons for why that is. “We get so much (American) radio and TV,” he said.
Then there’s the music they were exposed to as kids — Bonnie Raitt, John Hiatt, Ry Cooder and Lyle Lovett. “We listened to a lot of Steely Dan. Dad’s favorite band is Little Feat,” he said of the brothers’ father, Wally Landreth, who was a professional traveling musician till the ‘90s.
Also, when Landreth speaks of his home province of Manitboa, he describes heartland remote, wide-open plains three hours north of Fargo, N.D. “It doesn’t get any flatter in Canada than Manitoba. It gets cold as hell in winter — a really great place for people to get creative,” he said. According to Landreth, being cooped up inside during the colder months is very conducive to writing songs, and it helps that the creative process with his brother is “incredibly, incredibly fast and organic.”
“There’s a fair amount of heartbreak fodder,” Landreth commented on “Let It Lie” tracks like “Tappin’ on Glass.”
Before putting together the band with drummer Ryan Voth and keyboardist Alex Campbell — friends of the Landreth brothers since they were all in their teens — Landreth was in the Canadian pop-country outfits Emerson Drive and Doc Walker. “It’s a tough nut to crack for Canadian musicians to break into the U.S. There’s so many more markets in America,” Landreth said.
In March, the band showed the music industry folks at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas that they’re willing to work hard, playing 12 shows in four days. The set list included their father’s song “I Am the Fool.”
Inspired by the new music by his sons, Wally Landreth, who also appears on The Bros. Landreth album singing a verse on “Runaway Train,” is putting together a new band of his own. “He even joined Facebook,” Landreth said, bursting into laughter.
IF YOU GO
What: The Bros. Landreth in concert with We Speak in Sounds and Old Arrows.
When: 8 p.m. May 7.
Where: Milkboy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.
Info: Call (215) 925-MILK or visit www.milkboyphilly.com.