In the words of Bruce Springsteen, “Nothing feels better than blood on blood”. Brothers and front-men Brian and Bob Sumner share a bond that requires no flattery - a family pact that keeps their music honest and authentic. Their upcoming release I Love You, Smile. holds true to what their devoted fans around the world know and love: the raw grit of steel string guitar and banjo, the lonesome hum of a harmonica, Bob’s haunting tenor croon, the devastatingly
low baritone of brother Brian. This collision of sound forms the beautifully twisted roots of The Sumner Brothers.
It is their commitment to authenticity that first drew the brothers to country, folk, roots and blues music. Finding inspiration in the style of Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, and Neil Young, Bob and Brian began writing songs. They transformed their garage into a recording studio and created In The Garage, the DIY record that would change their lives. Accidentally released to the public in 2006, In The Garage, became an underground sensation, garnering the
attention of long time hero and future collaborator Sam Parton (The Be Good Tanyas) and charting in the top 10 for Folk/Roots/Blues on Canadian College Radio.
With a suddenly fired-up fan-base and a sprawling tour schedule, the Sumner Brothers released their Self Titled Debut in 2008. Surrounded by wildlife and fueled by BBQ and beer, Bob and Brian created a true alt-country gem -- a live
off the floor recording set in a tiny cabin on Galiano Island with guest Sam Parton on the mandolin. Attracting throngs of admirers, the album placed in The Province Newspaper’s 2008 top ten list, Herohill.com’s top 20 and You Crazy
Dreamers’ favourites for 2009. Barn burner “Girl in the Window” won Best Alt-Country Song at the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards by popular vote and haunting ballad “Ticket to Ride” was included in Music BC’s 2010 compilation. Rave reviews continued to pour in, including a nod from Lonestar Magazine and an unprecedented five stars from Altcountry NL.
In 2010, the brothers released a follow-up to their popular underground record In The Garage entitled In The Garage II - Your Last Chance. Much like it’s predecessor, In The Garage II digs deep into the Sumner Brothers archives of recorded material. Intoxicated jams, live house shows, impromptu collaborations - hundreds of songs were sifted through to create this collection of songs that is at times intimate, rowdy, odd, interesting and through and through magical. The record was featured in Slowcoustic’s top Canadian records of 2010 and received 4.5 stars from Americanrootsuk.com.
The new year will welcome the release of the brothers’ second studio effort, I Love You, Smile (May 2011). Though it was recorded in a much bigger cabin on a much bigger piece of land, the tenacious Sumners insist they have not strayed from their roots. The new release, produced by Derek Difilppo (Laura Smith, Star Captains, Five Alarm Funk), will feature guest performers Jim Black (Star Captains), Bill Patton (J. Tillman, Fleet Foxes) and Chris Mason (The Deep Dark Woods). The album will also include “Colorado Girl”, a track originally recorded for More Townes Van Zandt by the Great Unknown, a compilation of Townes covers out of the U.K. featuring contributions from The Be Good Tanyas, The Great Lake Swimmers, Kate Maki, J. Tillman (Fleet Foxes), Neal Casal (Ryan Adams), Phosphorescent and The Deep Dark Woods.
The Sumner Brothers have opened for such acts as Sean Hayes (San Francisco), Hillstomp (Portland), The Deep Dark Woods (Saskatoon) and have shared the stage with Vancouver heavies C.R. Avery and Rich Hope. They tour
regularly in Canada, the United States and will be heading to the U.K. for the first time this summer.
Band MembersBrian Sumner