Crooked, crusty, and maybe a little bit crazy, these roots-rockers twist and re-knot traditions for a sound that could be made by hard-luck Mississippi sharecroppers as easily as a trio of suburban Winnipeg guys. These bearded and be-flannelled multi-instrumentalists regularly swap mandolins, guitars, banjos and whatever else is at hand. Simultaneously gritty and pretty, the Crooked Brothers' homebrew take on folk, blues and rock creates an old-time variety show. Whether doing three-part harmonies, hamboning out a vocals-and-harmonica blues, crooning an intimate love song, or railroading through a post-Swordfishtrombones junkyard stomper, the Crooked Brothers inhabit the corner of roots music old and new.
Matt’s emotive songs carry a wholesome, nostalgic vision of rural Alberta and beyond. On his two Steve Dawson-produced albums, he crafts archetypal characters of classic country and western songs. His are short stories that document turning points of uncomfortable interludes in their subject’s lives; well-imagined tales that examine the temporary nature of love and beauty, reflections about the hopeless and finality of death, stories of an aging small-town hero, an oilfield widow, a barroom brawl over love gone astray, the toll of living in a one-industry town and a farmer with his own take on the divine. They’re beautifully played and sung in an unaffected way.