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Juno winner brings new country to town

joey LandrethWinnipeg’s Joey Landreth will be wheels up and westward bound as soon as he can convince a skateboard wheel to sit in for a suitcase caster.

Luggage is expensive at any point in your career, so the 2015 Juno Award winner is working with what is at hand.

That’s kind of the form his latest tour is taking. Stepping away from the fantastic foursome he formed with his older brother, David, that earned them a roots/traditional Juno for their debut album Let It Lie in 2015. This time around Landreth is playing 12 shows, including one at the Jasper Royal Canadian Legion on March 6, with a simplified trio.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “We’re kind of reinventing it in terms of not trying to do anything crazy. We just made some honest music.”

At least part of the motivation is to give his The Bros. Landreth incarnation a break from touring. Landreth said they’re pushing 800 days on the road in the last four years, including 220 in 2015.

“I can keep working and no one loses out,” Landreth explained. “I get to be a little more self-indulgent. Not that we were holding back, but I can be a bit more deliberate about how I approach the music. The record sounds like a band that’s been on the road for four years.”

The visual appeal of Landreth’s solo act website lulls you into expecting a straightforward country album, but listening to samples from Whiskey, which dropped Jan. 27, quickly calibrates expectations. Before long, it sounds like Kurt Cobain haunted the studio, as the sound drops a couple of gears and finds a near-grunge-worthy edge.

That could be due to the bona fide rock roots of the current arrangement, which includes Ryan Voth, who also played drums on The Landreth Bros. album, and Meg Dolovich who plays bass in place of brother David.

The trio formed a rock group in the 2000s called Dirty Denominator.

“We had way too much fun and played way too loud.”

To get a feel for the common thread between the two groups, head to the Legion at 8 p.m. on March 6. Tickets are $15 at the door.

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