The Crooked Brothers aren't actually brothers. But if you met Matt Foster, Jesse Matas and Darwin Barker, you'd think they were. Their blend of country, funk and blues styles has managed to capture the attention of roots and folk festival followers far and wide.
"I've always had the quieter folk music closer to my heart and I love playing electric guitar and going crazy, getting those screaming tones out, playing some funky loud dance party energy music but I've always been attracted to songs full of content I guess," Foster said.
He was looking for a quieter outlet when he joined forces with Barker. Matas later signed on to make the group a three-piece. But as Matas, explained, it wasn't initially music that forged the first bond, "We all really like food. I think that's what brought us together."
"Jessie showed up to the first band practice with a huge bucket full of
berries he'd just picked which sealed the deal and he was in," Foster said. In fact, their first gig was playing at Charisma Indian restaurant where they got paid in curry.
Now, with two albums under their belts, Deathbed Pillow Talk (2009) and Lawrence, Where's your Knife? (2011), it's safe to say their sound is still drawing on a range of influences. "We're pretty eclectic all around and we'll get really mellow and so some folky songs, but we like touching on some blues and some country. There's a bit of hip hop influence too," Barker said.
The Crooked Brothers wrote "Bluebirds" on a November afternoon at Falcon Lake where they spend a lot of their time writing songs. It became their first video.
Hear Ismaila Alfa's chat with the band on SCENE, Saturday from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.
The Crooked Brothers are playing the West End Cultural Centre Saturday November 10.