The Crooked Brothers have been laying low for the past couple of months—hibernating, as band member Darwin Baker calls it.
“We needed a bit of break from each other in a way after living in a van or a car together for so many years,” Baker says of his cohorts Matt Foster and Jesse Matas, who round out the trio—the members all switch between instruments like the banjo, mandolin, dobro, guitar and harmonica to deliver the vintage country vibe that is the Crooked Brothers.
But hibernation time is over and the Crooked Brothers are heading back on the road to promote its latest release, the Postcard EP, which is quite literally a series of limited edition postcards featuring original artwork by the Crooked Brothers and a few of the band’s friends. There’s only going to be 100 of each design printed, and the postcards—the kind you deliver through good old snail-mail—will include a download link that can be passed along once a listener has already downloaded it.
“It’s partially trying to combine what we do—I’m not a visual artist by any means, neither is Matt so much, but Jesse is—combine our music with art and the postcard aspect is fun because we love using the postal system, even though some of the folks in Ottawa don’t seem to think we need it anymore,” Baker explains, adding the idea was conceived prior to door-to-door mail delivery being canned, but the timing seemed better than ever to start encouraging people to go back to the way things used to be. “There’s nothing as personal as getting a handwritten letter or even just a quick note from a friend. There’s something special about that that you can’t achieve with an email or something. It’s kind of like communication is getting shorter and shorter. It became email and then the Facebook post and now the tweet is limited to 140 characters. You can’t say much with that and everything’s become too public, so it’s kind of nice to have the personalized touch of mail correspondence.”
The EP also contains the trio’s first “happy” tune, “There Ain’t No One.” Baker says during the band’s seven-year existence, they have attempted to write happy songs, but all too often they can veer into “cheesy” territory. This one stuck, though, and the tune (written by Matas about someone special) is an upbeat harmonica-driven track speaking to all the reasons this person means so much to him.
“When you’re happy you’re just kind of busy being happy and you don’t necessarily need to unleash it and tell the whole world or have that catharsis that you do when you’re sad,” Baker adds of the challenges jovial songs possess. “You don’t need to get it out so much; you just live your life and you’re happy.”
Thu, Jan 30 (9 pm)
With Swear By The Moon