On Thursday, May 12, our first concert in the new performance room will feature The Sumner Brothers, and one of the primary volunteers who helped to create this performance room, Cameron Wensel’s Black Drink Crier. Tickets are $10 plus $2 service charge, and should be purchased in advance by clicking here. This show will sell out early!
About the Sumner Bros:
It is their commitment to authenticity that first drew the Sumner Brothers (Brian and Bob) to country, folk, roots and blues music. Finding inspiration in the style of Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, and Neil Young, Bob and Brian began writing songs. They transformed their garage into a recording studio and created In The Garage, the DIY record that would change their lives. Accidentally released to the public in 2006, In The Garage, became an underground sensation, garnering the attention of long time hero and future collaborator Sam Parton (The Be Good Tanyas) and charting in the top 10 for Folk/Roots/Blues on Canadian College Radio.
With a suddenly fired-up fan-base and a sprawling tour schedule, the Sumner Brothers released their Self Titled Debut in 2008. Surrounded by wildlife and fueled by BBQ and beer, Bob and Brian created a true alt-country gem — a live off the floor recording set in a tiny cabin on Galiano Island with guest Sam Parton on the mandolin. Attracting throngs of admirers, the album placed in The Province Newspaper’s 2008 top ten list, Herohill.com’s top 20 and You Crazy Dreamers’ favourites for 2009. Barn burner “Girl in the Window” won Best Alt-Country Song at the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards by popular vote and haunting ballad “Ticket to Ride” was included in Music BC’s 2010 compilation. Rave reviews continued to pour in, including a nod from Lonestar Magazine and an unprecedented five stars from Altcountry NL.
In 2010, the brothers released a follow-up to their popular underground record In The Garage entitled In The Garage II – Your Last Chance. Much like it’s predecessor, In The Garage II digs deep into the Sumner Brothers archives of recorded material. Intoxicated jams, live house shows, impromptu collaborations – hundreds of songs were sifted through to create this collection of songs that is at times intimate, rowdy, odd, interesting and through and through magical. The record was featured in Slowcoustic’s top Canadian records of 2010 and received 4.5 stars from Americanrootsuk.com.
The new year will welcome the release of the brothers’ second studio effort, I Love You, Smile (May 2011). Though it was recorded in a much bigger cabin on a much bigger piece of land, the tenacious Sumners insist they have not strayed from their roots. The new release, produced by Derek Difilppo (Laura Smith, Star Captains, Five Alarm Funk), will feature guest performers Jim Black (Star Captains), Bill Patton (J. Tillman, Fleet Foxes) and Chris Mason (The Deep Dark Woods). The album will also include “Colorado Girl”, a track originally recorded for More Townes Van Zandt by the Great Unknown, a compilation of Townes covers out of the U.K. featuring contributions from The Be Good Tanyas, The Great Lake Swimmers, Kate Maki, J. Tillman (Fleet Foxes), Neal Casal (Ryan Adams), Phosphorescent and The Deep Dark Woods.
The Sumner Brothers have opened for such acts as Sean Hayes (San Francisco), Hillstomp (Portland), The Deep Dark Woods (Saskatoon) and have shared the stage with Vancouver heavies C.R. Avery and Rich Hope. They tour regularly in Canada, the United States and will be heading to the U.K. for the first time this summer.
Cameron Wensel’s self assured vocals and lyrical honesty are present with his latest musical project, Black Drink Crier. The biting candor Wensel’s lyrics have been complimented by the musical talents of Regina’s The Lazy MKs, who put their trademark sound to work aside Wensel’s vocal and guitar work on his debut release as Black Drink Crier, “Porch Fire” (now available on Harvest King Records). Recorded at Soul Sound by Orion Paradis, “Porch Fire” is a collection of six songs brimming with the nostalgia, tenderness and vitriol of an ended love. Citing musical and songwriting influences such as the Pogues, Steve Earle, Daniel Lanois and Bob Dylan, Black Drink Crier’s debut release fits as well as a pair of worn suspenders. “Porch Fire” is both a sincere homage to the Western prairies and a telling tribute to transformative power of being burnt. Wensel’s lyrical prowess is front and centre, and his songwriting skills are evident on this, his first solo recording (following Westport Murders’ 2009 EP). For more information, contact Harvest King Records, Expect another release from Black Drink Crier in the near future, where the true band lineup featuring Judd Stachowski and Travis Reshaur will appear.
Purchase your ticket here for Sumner Brothers with Black Drink Crier, Thursday May 12, 7:30 doors, 8:30 pm show time. Come early for a tour of the building.