Spun:The Crooked Brothers

By Alastair Starke

Written on the inside of this album’s jacket is this: “If we’ve ever slept in your bed, floated down your river, renovated your home, rode your bike, or eaten the food you grow, this is for you.” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect after an introduction like that.

The Crooked Brothers aren’t actually related to each other, but this doesn’t get in the way of a good band name. Each member of the Manitoba-based trio is multi-talented, singing and playing many different folk instruments over the course of the album, including guitars, banjos, mandolins and fiddles. The vocals feel a tad forced sometimes, but they rarely detract from the music itself.

Underneath the country-folk expectations, this album is a multi-faceted gem of music that blends many genres and emotions together. “Cold As You” and “Winter’s Come” are beautifully-written country pieces filled with regret and sorrow. “Up the Mountain,” a fast-paced, raucous song of booze and shotguns serves as an interesting counter-balance to chain-gang ballad “17 Horses.”

I’ve listened to Lawrence, Where’s Your Knife? five times over the past week, and I still don’t know what to expect from it. Even if country isn’t your cup of tea, I strongly recommend listening to this album.

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