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Summer Guide: The Bros. Landreth return to the road with a new album in tow


It was 2019, and The Bros. Landreth had had enough.

Up to that point, Joey Landreth and his brother Dave, had found themselves on the road nonstop since 2014 when the Canadian country/folk duo first broke out of the gate with their wildly popular debut album “Let It Lie.” But the band that had been compared creatively to music legends such as The Band, The Allman Brothers and Jackson Browne, found themselves looking for a way out.

And then the pandemic happened.

“It’s so hard to say that the pandemic was a good thing, because it was so devastating for so many people,” Joey Landreth said during a recent Zoom interview from his home studio. “But the pandemic did force us to stop, and I really don’t think we would have done it otherwise.”

“The break was profound and kind of shattering because I’ve spent my entire life identifying as a traveling musician,” Landreth remembered. “The second that you stop traveling and being a musician, then it’s like, ‘well damn, who am I?’”

Answering that question became the mission of The Bros. Landreth, as the JUNO Award-winning duo had thus far enjoyed a successful career filled with music that they both believed the world wanted to hear. But was it the music itneeded to hear?

“We found ourselves not wanting to follow rules that we had put in place in the past,” said Landreth.

“We made the conscious decision that from that point on, if an idea came and we both liked it, we were going to follow it all the way down. And if we wound up at a dead end and it didn’t work, that was going to be fine, too. But we weren’t going to say no to something just because we hadn’t done it before.”

Going down this somewhat scary road eventually led The Bros. Landreth to create their new album “Come Morning,” a collection of 10 songs in which the duo tackles past demons, processes heartbreaking losses, challenges ideas of toxic masculinity, and makes it all sound luscious.

“We both knew we wanted to continue making music, but we both started wondering what it would look like to make music for ourselves, you know?” said Landreth, who admits to being on his own mental health journey since 2019. “Everybody lives with trauma in one way or the other. So yeah, this record was very deliberately for us.”

Take for example their new single “Stay,” which touches on the often-slippery slope one finds themselves on when they are torn between road-warrior and homebody.

“David and I are both first-time dads,” explained Landreth, who alongside his brother David wrote Bonnie Raitt’s single “Made Up Mind.”

“Dave’s got a two-year-old and I have a one-year-old and we both became equally in awe of watching our kids play. They have this way of…I mean, it’s beautiful.

“We were trying to channel that and take inspiration from our kids to just play and have fun and enjoy what we do.”

And this is where the pair now finds themselves — in a season of yes. Take for example their openness to collaborate with other artists on “Come Morning,” an album produced by Joey Landreth and Murray Pulver.

“The last person who served as a guest vocalist was our dad on our first record,” Landreth said, laughing. “I’m a control freak. I like to sing things myself. But this was the first time we were open to bringing someone else in.”

One of those “someone elses” was Leith Ross on the album’s featured song, “Don’t Feel Like Crying (feat. Leith Ross),” which tackles the reality of a love lost, and what one does with those feelings.

“ [It] moved me immediately,” Landreth said of hearing Ross sing for the first time. “The sound that came out was one of the most pure and beautiful voices I’d ever heard.”

Things began to fall into perspective.

“Music is still very important to both of us, but it’s a lot further down the ladder than it used to be, and, in a way, I think that makes the music a little more special,” Landreth said. “I think because this record is so intensely personal to my brother and I that it’s going to be really important to share some of these stories during the live show.”

And there is nowhere else they would rather share those stories than with their loyal fans in Chicago.

“We have definitely put some kind of roots down in Chicago,” gushed Landreth. “The fans there are always the best listeners.”





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