Since the release of The Strumbellas’ eponymous 2009 EP, which was peppered with accolades from Toronto weeklies and prompted a proclamation from the CBC that they are a “band to watch,” the six-piece group has been slogging it out, earning their stripes through residencies at The Cameron House and most recently a month of Home.Sweet.Home Tuesdays at The Dakota Tavern. The band also left the proverbial nest in 2012, making new fans with two cross-country tours as well as playing a plethora of festivals including CMW, NXNE, Pop Montreal, Eaglewood and Hillside in Guelph, which by all accounts was the equivalent of their cotillion ball.
Conceived in Lindsay, Ont., but born in Toronto, The Strumbellas are equal parts small town dream and big city gumption. Sensitive singer-songwriters beware: this ain’t your meemaw’s country music. The band brings wheat field harmonies and arena- ready thunder to backrooms and festival stages alike. Folk wisp and country twang are nowhere to be found as The Strumbellas pound out a bluegrass-inspired indie rock that rivals punk and hardcore for sweat, blood, and ruckus.
The Strumbellas’ 2012 debut album, My Father And The Hunter, offers a beautiful, harmonious dichotomy between melancholy heartbreak on songs Carry My Body,
Diane, Windsurfers, Underneath A Mountain, Left For Dead and The Bird That Follows Me compared to blow-the-barn-doors-off spunk on The Sheriff, Lakes, Sailor’s Blues, Rhinestone, I Just Had A Baby and Pistol. The album, which was produced by Cone
McCaslin and recorded at Blue Rodeo’s coveted Woodshed Studio, is the harvest of talented friends, some whisky and a few rounds of euchre. Harmonies, stomps, hollers, claps and gang vocals unabashedly abound as the songs weave compelling stories throughout the entire album. Dance, cry, put your fist through a wall or call someone you love – expect to feel it all. Check out the mini-doc for The Bird That Follows Me in- studio recording here.
The group recently headed south of the border to record with West Coast producer Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Metric, The Strokes, Gossip) at Bear Creek Studio near Seattle.
“If 2012 was their year to introduce themselves to the larger Canadian audience, 2013 will surely be their breakout year. Chances are, we’ll all be much more familiar with The Strumbellas sooner rather than later” – BEATROUTE
The Strumbellas: Simon Ward – vocals, acoustic guitar / David Ritter – piano, organ, percussion, vocals / Jeremy Drury – drums, percussion / Isabel Ritchie – violin, viola, vocals / Jon Hembrey – electric guitar, mandolin /Darryl James – bass.