Mon, Nov 26, 2012.
A strong new Toronto band rolls through the province this week, promoting its debut disc. The Cameron Brothers Band features the siblings Scott and Braden, and got going a little under two years ago. The album is called Ratios, and was produced by band pianist Aaron Comeau, a guy with family roots in this province, and recently here with his other outfit, Dear Sister. These are some of the finest young roots players I've heard out of the country in the past while, and the disc features some great original tunes, as well as really grand ensemble playing.
There are a lot of instruments, guests, and duets flying around the Ratios album. It's kind of like the roots version of Broken Social Scene, with these 20-somethings happy playing with their friends, contributing fun parts to where needed. Whether they are city kids, as some are, or rural-bred as the brothers Cameron were, they have the right attitude and sound perfectly authentic playing this country-tinged, organic set. Great line: "Toronto is cold, this country is colder." True dat.
The group serves the songs well, coming up with cool parts that differ with each track. On My Way Back Home is piano-led, with accordion swirls, and vocals that build from solo to three-part harmonies. If you are thinking The Band, you are on the right track for sure. Big Dreams, Little Faith continues the keyboard-rich style, this time both organ and piano, along with some twangy guitar fills, and a pure country vocal. Other tracks feature leads or duets with Emma Harvey, who has one of those interesting voices, part sweet, part twang. Oh, another good line: "I will hear it as a dissipating whisper, as a passing train." They got the lines, the songs, the chops.
The Cameron Brothers Band play their first show tonight (Monday) in Sackville at the Bridge Street Cafe, then it's on to Moncton Tuesday at Plan B, and Wednesday the 28th they are at the Red Herring in St. Andrews.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).