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I’ve probably written about 3000 different bands over the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve forgotten about most of them but there are always a few that stick with me for one reason or another. Of course the main reason is always the music, but sometimes it’s the process of discovery that is memorable or an interaction with the artist that makes them stand out. The Sumner Brothers are a combination of all three reasons. Songs:Illinois must have been some of the first press they received since portions of my review of their debut record are up on their CDBaby page, also they’ve always been extremely nice in my dealings with them, but as I say it’s mostly about the music. The Sumner Brothers effortlessly combine all the disparate forms of roots music to create a sound that elevates them to the top of the heap (The Felice Brothers, Chatham County Line and The Avett Brothers are all pushing and struggling not to fall off that same heap).
The band is releasing their sophomore effort on Sept. 19 (tomorrow) with a release party at St James Hall in Vancouver. Staying true to the bands’ all natural, organic sound they recorded the new record in a cabin on Galliano Island. The band admits to being particularly fond of the track “Ticket To Ride”. And this nearly 6 minute long ode of desperation, joblessness, war, and trains is a fine place to start.
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Well it’s been months since we’ve had some down home gospel music. And while this doesn’t live up to the music you might hear from a southern Baptist church choir, it does sound like the Gospel songs of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Gordan Gano. There’s almost nothing I can say about The Sumner Brothers, they have no web presence besides their MySpace page and no bio to speak of. What they do have though is a couple of songs posted from In The Garage-2006 Yamaha 8track (this is not so much an album name as it is an apt description of the where and howfor).
The band deals in the deeply spiritual side of music while expressing no interest in any particular religion. Their songs seem to explore the themes and topics that are both nearest and dearest to our own hearts but also the ones we speak about the least. Riyl Richard Buckner, Steve Earl, and Richmond Fontaine.