Nelson musician James Lamb was standing in a bank lineup recently when a fan approached him to ask when and where he would be playing next. He told them he would be performing with Winnipeg roots act the Crooked Brothers this weekend.
“She asked me to describe them, because she hadn’t heard of them before, and I kind of blanked for a moment. Then I said well, they have a banjo.”
That was all the answer she needed.
“For some people that’s a deal-breaker, but she heard banjo and was like `I’m sold’,” said Lamb, who will be opening for the band at Spiritbar on Friday, November 21.
The Crooked Brothers consists of three heavily bearded siblings: Darwin, Jesse and Matt.
On their Facebook page they describe themselves thusly: “A good dance, a good cry, it’s all here. Music full of hips and heart. Slinky throbbing bass lines and growling melodies, or a heartache stripped and unadorned. The diversity in instrumentation and vocal arrangements are the vanguard of The Crooked Brothers’ art.”
Their approach has been described as blending Canada-strong folk music with a looser alt-country vibe.
Lamb called it “folk-noir”.
“The lead guy has this gruff voice, with that Tom Waits element. They’re pretty driving, really good roots music.”
The band recently released an album called Thank You I’m Sorry. They’ll be sharing the new tunes during the show.
During the opening act, Lamb will be playing alongside Jesse Lee on bass, Brian Kalbfleisch on keyboards and Brian Rosen on drums. He’ll primarily be playing songs from his album Imagineering, but also some newer numbers.
“Nelson’s a tricky one because there’s usually somebody there who’s already heard whatever I’m playing, but I’ve got some new unreleased stuff I’m hoping to record early next year,” he said.
Though he’s been primarily performing as a solo act, he said he’s excited about being part of a band again.
“I’m testing it out,” he said.
The show is scheduled to coincide with the ending of the New Riders of the Purple Sage show at the Capitol, giving audiences a full night of music to experience.
“I think it will be a funny combination. We’ll have people getting into their night and people well into it. It’s going to be a fun night,” he said.
Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are available at the Hume Hotel. For more information visit crookedbrothers.com.