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Who is the Washboard Union? Get to know the Juno breakthrough group nominees

The chart-dominating Canadian country band that calls Vancouver home.

The chart-dominating Canadian country band that calls Vancouver home.

Vancouver-based country band Washboard Union is nominated for the 2019 Juno for breakthrough group of the year. (Supplied by Warner Canada)

The Juno categories of breakthrough artist and group of the year have gone through a few different identities in their 45-year history, but what's never changed is the incredible pedigree of the categories' winners. A veritable who's who of now-established and future Canadian music industry icons have taken home these coveted Junos.

Breakthrough artist winners include Burton Cummings, k.d. lang, Colin James, Alanis Morissette, Jann Arden, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Feist, Drake, the Weeknd, Alessia Cara and Jessie Reyez. The list of breakthrough group winners is equally star-studded: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Rush, Glass Tiger, the Tragically Hip, Nickelback, Alexisonfire and A Tribe Called Red.

Think of the Junos as an opportunity to survey just a little bit more of the country's music scene, its depth and breadth, and then keep checking back as CBC Music posts its handy primers for each artist and group, as well as some context to help deepen your appreciation of these great musicians.


Who: The Washboard Union.

Where: Vancouver via Kelowna, B.C.

Sound: Country and roots.

Why they're nominated: The Washboard Union — Aaron Grain, Chris Duncombe and David Roberts — released its first album in 2012, but it wasn't until its 2015 EP, In My Bones, that the band became a country radio staple. The EP produced five charting singles, and catapulted the band to stardom before it even released its 2018 full-length major label album, What We're Made Of.

Previously: The first iteration of the Washboard Union was actually a roots band called Run GMC.

Fun fact: Grain and Duncombe are actually stepbrothers, so Roberts says he gets to settle all the arguments.

Quote: "We've always dreamed about it, about being songwriters. But we've also dreamed about being up onstage, in front of people, playing our songs to these people. It's a real dream come true for us." — to Global News, 2018

'Feel Like That' (2018)



'Shine' (2017) ​

'Shot of Glory' (2016)


Wherever you are in the world, you can watch the 2019 Juno Awards on Sunday, March 17, broadcast live from London's Budweiser Gardens at 8 p.m. ET on CBC, CBC Radio and online at cbc.ca/junos.

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