The Crooked Brothers are home-brewed. They play homegrown, homemade music.
Both gritty and pretty at once – their take on folk, on blues, rock or anything they turn their hands to can’t be said to be anything but their own. Sometimes it’s as simple as three sweet harmonies, or a single harmonica holding the whole room at attention, and sometimes things growl and shake and come smashing down with a filthy rhythm beneath it. But it’s all Crooked Brothers, to the last drop.
Just try and pin it down. Matt’s unforgettably strange voice, inhuman and gravelly deep. Darwin’s deft handling of the harmonica. Jesse’s stories and poems turned lyrics.
Practically a Crooked Family Variety Act – their concerts see banjos, mandolins, guitars and more taking turns being juggled from brother to brother. Each having their own style and touch, the arrangements seem limitless, and there’s a refreshing sense that they will never write the same song twice.
The Crooked Brothers have performed to sold-out rooms at festivals overseas such as Brighton’s Great Escape, and Willisau, Switzerland’s Spring Bluegrass Festival. They have toured 10 countries, played in nearly every province and territory in Canada, and have released three full length albums, as well as an EP that comes available exclusively on limited-edition postcards.
Their new album, Thank You I’m Sorry (2014) – Captured in the wide open spaces of both a warehouse and a handmade log home – sounds bigger, feels bigger than their last two albums. Folk music has never had this kind of groove to it. There is still that depth and story to their lyrics, still the familiar attention to detail. Every sound, every song carefully crafted. But the band itself has grown – they rarely perform as a trio anymore, opting for the heft and groove that the upright bass and drums afford. If this is folk music, it’s folk music full of left turns. A dark poem that sets hundreds dancing at a time.
A good cry, a good laugh. A dance in the street without your shoes… it’s all right here. They get lonely and low as low can be, but they are also quick to celebrate. The Crooked Brothers’ songs move from sorrow to joy and back with a surprising grace and it’s clear that they harbour an honour for the lows in life just as much as the highs. Music full of hips and heart. The Crooked Brothers, catch them at the Bella Coola Music Festival July 23 and 24.