On Stage: The Bros. Landreth do things just a bit differently

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

The Bros. Landreth

The Bros. Landreth, who are headlining a show at City Winery (990 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, citywinery.com/philadelphia/) on October 24, got their band  name from the two members – brothers Dave and Joey Landreth.

Why is the name The Bros. Landreth instead of The Landreth Brothers?

Maybe it’s because they’re Canadian and Canadians like to do things differently.

The Bros. Landreth are an alt-country/folk duo from Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba. The brothers’ debut album “Let It Lie” won the Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Group at the Juno Awards of 2015.

The group was first formed in 2013 by brothers Joey and David Landreth, the sons of Winnipeg musician Wally Landreth. The musical siblings share vocal duties, while Joey plays guitar and David plays bass.

A few weeks ago, The Bros. Landreth released their sophomore album “’87” on Birthday Cake/The Orchard. After performing at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, the brothers embarked on a run of North American dates before heading the UK and Europe.

“We’re two weeks in on this leg of the tour,” said Dave Landreth, during a phone interview this week as he was travelling to a gig in Annapolis, Maryland.

“We’ll finish this leg with the show in Philadelphia. Then, we’ll be home for a few days before we head off and tour Europe for the rest of November. The shows have been going really well.

“We’re touring as a four-piece with bass, drums, piano and guitar. For the last two years, we toured with two guitars, bass and drums. Then, we decided to go back to the way we started with the first iteration of the band.

“Our keyboard player is Liam Duncan. He’s a little younger than my brother and I are but we’ve been working with him for about five years, We’re fond of his playing – and his songwriting.”

The Bros. Landreth expanded their horizon this summer.

“We did a piece in Winnipeg with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet,” said Landreth. “It was quite the orchestral show. The choreographer was the RWB’s Philippe Larouche.

“The music came first. He pulled most of the songs from the new record along with one old one and then wrote a narrative. It was pretty dark – about addiction and loss.”

Those same themes inhabit the tracks on “’87.”

“When we were making the new album, we just wanted to write honest songs,” said Landreth. “When we finished and looked back at the tunes, we saw that there was a common thread that linked them together.

“Joey is five years sober and I’m 10 years sober. One of the themes is coming out of addiction. There are also songs that deal with stress and the challenge of family life.

“It’s stuff that most people can relate to. We made sure we left enough room for people to interpret the songs as living stories. We spent a couple years working on the album.”

The brothers were successful with their own individual careers prior to hooking up as The Bros. Landreth.

“We started working together back in fall 2012,” said Landreth. “He was in a country band and I was in an alt-country/blues band.

“When we set out, we were doing all new music. We chose ‘’87’ for the title of the new album because that’s they year we became brothers – the year Joey was born.”

Video link for The Bros. Landreth – https://youtu.be/TkAV_YM16Ts.

The show at the City Winery, which has Liam Duncan as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16, $19 and $22.

Other upcoming shows at the City Winery are William DuVall on October 25, Shawn Mullins on October 25, The Vindys on October 26,

Jackopierce on October 26, Macy Gray on October 27, Avery Sunshine on October 27, and The Flamin’ Groovies on October 29.

On October 25, there will be two shows in Philly – each featuring a young blonde singer/songwriter/performer who was born in Iowa and moved on to national fame. One is Julia Michaels and the other is Maddie Poppe.

Julia Michaels

Michaels, a GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer and songwriter, has transformed the pop music landscape not only from behind-the-scenes as one of the most in-demand songwriters, but in the spotlight as a solo artist as well. Her rapid rise can be attributed to identifiable honesty in every lyric, as exemplified in her triple-platinum selling debut single “Issues”.  

Michaels, who was born in Davenport, Iowa, will be headlining a show at the Theatre of the Living Arts (334 South Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1011,http://www.lnphilly.com) as part of the second leg of her “The Inner Monologue Tour.”

“I’ve toured a lot as an opening act and ‘The Inner Monologue Tour’ is my first headlining tour,” said Michaels, during a phone interview Wednesday evening from a tour stop in Nashville.

“This is the second leg of the tour in America and now it’s turned into a world tour with six weeks in Europe and Australia.”

Michaels, a GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer and songwriter, has transformed the pop music landscape not only from behind-the-scenes as one of the most in-demand songwriters, but in the spotlight as a solo artist as well.

In 2018, she garnered GRAMMY® Awards nominations in the categories of “Best New Artist” and “Song of the Year” for “Issues,” which amassed nearly 2 billion streams worldwide. Continuing that success, “Issues” notably became “the top-selling debut single by an artist in 2017,” and placed as the only solo female composition on Variety’s “30 Most Consumed Songs of 2017.”

As a songwriter, Michaels  has co-written 21 titles that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 — 11 of which have hit the Top 40, including “Issues.”  Those songwriting credits include smashes like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Selena Gomez’s “Good for You” [feat. A$AP Rocky] & “Hands To Myself,” and Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself.” 

She has also penned songs for Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Linkin Park, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, P!NK, Maroon 5, Jessie Ware, Janelle Monae, Keith Urban, Shawn Mendes and more. The cumulative worldwide stream tally for songs she has co-written is 20 billion to date.  

“I started my writing with poetry when I was really young,” said Michaels, who grew up in Santa Clarita, California. “I used to write poetry all the time. When I was 12, my mom got me a piano. Actually, she originally got it for my sister. But my sister never really got interested in playing piano, so I picked it up.

“It wasn’t until I got the piano that I started writing songs instead of poems. My sister Kaden used to send her demos around the city and I would follow her around. She took me under her wing.”

Before long, Michaels was flying on her own – and building a reputation as one of L.A.’s best young songwriters.

In January 2017, Michaels released her first solo single, “Issues.”

According to Michaels, “It was the first time I’d written a song that sounded so much like myself that I couldn’t picture anyone else singing it.”

Many big-name artists fought for the song, but Michaels opted to hang on to the song and record it herself.

“That track – ‘Issues’ – was the breakthrough for me to start a solo career,” said Michaels. “Originally, I wrote it with my writing partner Justin Trantner and we just let it sit there for a few months. Then, we put it out as a single. It was the first track under my own name.”

Michaels released her debut solo single with Republic Records in 2017.

That single was the musical equivalent of a Major League Baseball player who, as a rookie, hits a grand slam home run in his very first time at bat.

“Issues” peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, was certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and garnered her Grammy Award nominations for Song of the Year and Best New Artist.

Her major-label debut extended play, “Nervous System” (2017), peaked at number 48 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. She has also received nominations for MTV Music Video, Billboard Music, and American Music Awards. Her most recent EP release is “Inner Monologue Part 2.”

In the last two years, Michaels has toured the world as an opening act on tours by Maroon 5, Keith Urban, Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan, and P!NK. Now, it is her time to top the bill.

“It did take some adjustment to headlining,” said Michaels. “When you’re an opener, people in the audience are trying to figure out if they like you.

“With headlining, the energy is so different. You’ve got 1,500 like-minded people in the audience for one-and-a-half hours. It’s been amazing so far.”

Video link for Julia Michaels – https://youtu.be/Bkhpiwvvf8k.

The show at the Theatre of the Living Arts, which has Rhys Lewis as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Other upcoming shows at TLA are Starset on October 24, The Wonder Years on October 26, Jidenna on October 27, Scotty Sire on October 28, bea miller on October 29 and Big Freedia on October 30.

If the Monkees were still around and they took “The Last Train to Clarksville,” they might be surprised at what they found there.

Make that – who they found there.

Maddie Poppe

Clarksville, a small town of around 1,500 people in Iowa, is the home of Maddie Poppe. The young singer put Clarksville on the map on May 21, 2018 – the night that American Idol Season 16 concluded by crowning Poppe the winner.

Poppe spent the next year working on her career as a singer and, on May 17, 2019, she released her first studio album, “Whirlwind.” She has been playing live shows in support of the album ever since.

On October 25, Poppe will be the opening act for Ingrid Michaelson when Michaelson brings her “The Dramatic Tour” to Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, 215-232-2100, www.utphilly.com).

According to Michaelson, “I couldn’t be more excited to announce that Maddie Poppe is joining us as our opener on tour. She’s so talented and kind and I can’t wait to hear her every night.”

Poppe and Michaelson will wrap up the tour in the next few days with the show in Philly and two in New York.

“We’ll finish the tour and then I’ll be home for a few days,” said Poppe, during a phone interview Wednesday from a tour stop in Washington, D.C.

“I’m still living at home in Clarksville with my family. Someday I’ll leave the nest, but I don’t know when.”

Right now, Poppe is enjoying the whirlwind that accompanied the release of “Whirlwind.”

“The album dropped on May 15 on Hollywood Records,” said Poppe. “I’m going to start working on another album at the top of next year. Hopefully, I’ll have it out later next year.”

In her debut release for Hollywood Records, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter teamed with a variety of producer/songwriters such as Johan Carlsson (Ariana Grande, Charlie Puth, Demi Lovato) and Drew Pearson (Kesha, Pentatonix, Michelle Branch).

“I hope that I can do most of the songwriting this time on my next album,” said Poppe. “I wanted to write more than I did on ‘Whirlwind.’ I started writing on January 4 and had to be finished by February 21. In a way, it was nice because I’m such a perfectionist and, in this case, I wasn’t able to sit around and spend a lot of time on it.

“There are a lot of things that could have been different if I had had more time – things like lyrics and songs I wish I had more time to perfect the vocals on.”

“Whirlwind” is Poppe’s debut album – sort of.  She has an independent release in 2016 of an album titled “Songs from a Basement.”

“I actually made that album in my basement during my senior year in high school,” said Poppe. “I had written every part of the music and lyrics and my dad produced it.

“My dad played in church and I sang with him there – mostly hymns. He also was in bands when I was growing up – country then rock-and-roll then bluegrass – and I used to sing with him sometimes. I’ve changed a lot since then.”

Poppe showed a lot of her musical versatility with her song selections on American Idol. Some of the songs she sang were Brandi Carlile’s “Dreams,” Kermit the Frog’s “Rainbow Connection,” Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” the Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian,” the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” and Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.”

“My favorite song was ‘God Only Knows,’” said Poppe. “I also really liked ‘Rainbow Connection’ with Kermit the Frog. It was fun.

“My first audition for Season 16 was August 2017. I was going to college and thought I’d take a chance. It was in Omaha with hundreds of other people auditioning. I sang 30 seconds of ‘Me and Bobby McGee.’ Later, I did ‘Rainbow Connection.’

“I advanced to a few rounds of auditions in Chicago on September 11. After that, I auditioned for judges in New York on October 3 and got the Golden Ticket that day.

“Winning American Idol opened so may doors for me. It was hard to believe that a show I watched in the past and voted on – I voted for Taylor Hicks – was now a show that people voted for me. It’s been a great experience.”

Video link for Maddie Poppe – https://youtu.be/N010V5TLKkQ.

The show at Union Transfer, which has Poppe opening for Ingrid Michaelson, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40.

Other upcoming shows at Union Transfer are

Peter Hook & The Light on October 24, Cigarettes After Sex on October 26, Russian Circles on October 27, Alejandro Aranda Is Scarypoolparty on October 29, and Jukebox the Ghost Presents HalloQueen on October 30.

This is the time of year when the weather goes through a serious change – from the heat of summer through fading warmth in autumn to the bitter cold of winter.

This weekend, there will be a classical music concert featuring a piece that deals with the changing weather.

Shai Wosner

Shai Wosner and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) will present the Philadelphia premiere of Christopher Cerrone’s concerto for piano and strings, “The Air Suspended” on October 25 at the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, 215-731-3333,www.kimmelcenter.org) as part of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s concert series.

Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. His performances of a broad range of repertoire—from Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today—reflect a degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favorite among audiences and critics.

Described as a “Schubertian of unfaltering authority and character” by Gramophone, Mr. Wosner continues his career-long, critically acclaimed engagement with composer’s music, including performances of his latest recital series, Schubert: The Great Sonatas. 2019 brings the release of a new double album on Onyx comprising the composer’s Sonatas in A Minor, D. 845; G Major, D. 894; C Minor, D. 958; and B-flat Major, D. 960. This release completes his recording of Schubert’s final six sonatas.

Wosner’s recital repertoire also includes works from his recent solo recording, Impromptu (Onyx Classics), which features an eclectic mix of improvisationally inspired works by composers from Beethoven and Schubert to Gershwin and Ives. The pieces range from true improvisations to such stylized miniatures as Schubert’s Four Impromptus, D. 935, and together they reflect his interest in exploring subtle connections between works of contrasting styles and time periods.

Wosner is a recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Born in Israel, he studied piano with Opher Brayer and Emanuel Krasovsky, as well as composition, theory, and improvisation with André Hajdu. He later studied at The Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax.  

“The idea for this project came about when I heard Christopher Cerrone’s ‘High Windows,’ which is a piece for string orchestra – a marvelous piece,” said Wosner, during a phone interview last week from his home in New York. “He writes so well for strings. It’s nice to have a piece for piano and strings.

“I approached him through a mutual friend to see if he’d be interested in making a piece for piano and strings. We went together to hear ECCO in concert and I’m sure that it gave him some ideas. That show gave him ideas for this piece.”

According to Cerrone, “‘The Air Suspended’ is a piano concerto inspired by changes of weather, and the enormous reserves of energy required to accomplish such a transformation. In my piece, the solo pianist is the energy source: he—in this case, the spectacular Shai Wosner—plays highly kinetic music continuously throughout the 16-minute work. The string orchestra captures his musical material, which it transforms, accretes, and dissipates, like weather patterns.”

Wosner said, “I had never worked with ECCO before, but I had a lot of friends in this project – a lot of musicians who play in quartets.”

The critically acclaimed East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) is a collective of dynamic like-minded artists who convene for select periods each year to explore musical works and perform concerts of the highest artistic quality. Drawing from some of the world’s finest orchestras, chamber groups, and young soloists, ECCO strives for vitality and musical integrity; a self-governing organization, each member is equal and has a voice in every step of the artistic process, from programming to performance.

“ECCO has 17 people and each has an individual part,” said Wosner. “This wasn’t written for string sections.

“Cerrone blurs the lines between piano and strings a lot. His inspiration comes from a lot of literary sources. He deals with texts a lot – writing by Ben Lerner and there is a book by Elena Ferrante that is quoted in his score.”

The opening movement, “From Ground to Cloud,” draws its title from Ben Lerner’s long poem, “Mean Free Path” The form of the movement was inspired by a video of Ground-To-Cloud lightning — lightning that appears to come up from the ground — and structurally works in the form of three strikes: the low rumbling material in the piano suddenly breaks into a series of jagged and explosive gestures at the top of the piano.

The second movement, “Dissolving Margins,” takes its title from Elena Ferrante’s book, “My Brilliant Friend.” The second movement proceeds straight into the third movement, “Stutter, Like Rain,” again drawing its title from Ben Lerner. The music here is a series of glitched loops, where the strings slowly pick up the jagged, repeated gestures in the piano with rapid changes of tempo.

The movement—which moves from this jagged opening material to quotes from prior movements to a fully composed cadenza, closes suddenly with one final lightning flash and a sharp cutoff of all instruments, which itself inspired the title of the concerto, a line from “Four Quartets” by T.S. Eliot.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done a weather-related piece,” said Wosner. “I have been playing (Beethoven’s) ‘Pastoral Sonata,’ which is influenced by nature. Two years ago, you could write a piece about nature without thinking about climate change.”

Other pieces in the October 25 concert will be Beethoven’s “String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95, Serioso,” C. Schumann’s “Selection of works,” Geminiani’s “La Follia” andMozart’s “Piano Concerto in E-flat Major, K. 449.”

Video link for Shai Wosner – https://youtu.be/gpq8UlJ8zoA.

Video link for ECCO — https://youtu.be/HX-IEWQILuo.

The show at Kimmel Center’s Perelman Center will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30.

The Beatles are coming to Wilmington this Friday evening.

Not really – but the music of the Beatles is coming to Delaware when the Grand Opera House (818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5577,www.thegrandwilmington.org) presents a concert by the Fab Faux on October 25.

Beatles fans will never be able to see the Beatles perform live — unless John Lennon and George Harrison are reincarnated (and that might have already happened with George).

Fortunately, the music of the Beatles lives via a wide variety of tribute acts performing songs from the foursome’s impressive catalogue. Some of these tribute acts put on stage shows in which they try to look and sound like the Beatles – and they rarely succeed.

The Fab Faux

Others are content with providing an “as-accurate-as-possible” re-creation of the Beatles’ music.

The Fab Faux falls into the latter category – and the group definitely succeeds.

The Fab Faux’s members are celebrated bassist Will Lee (CBS Orchestra/David Letterman, countless artists); Jimmy Vivino, music director/guitarist for “Conan” and longtime music partner of Levon Helm, John Sebastian, Laura Nyro; lead-singing drummer/producer Rich Pagano (Rosanne Cash, Roger Waters); guitarist Frank Agnello (Marshall Crenshaw, Phoebe Snow); and multi-instrumentalist, Jack Petruzzelli (Joan Osborne, Patti Smith).

With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of The Beatles’ repertoire, The Fab Faux treat the seminal music with unwavering respect and are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs (with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles). Far beyond a cover band, they play the music of The Beatles so impeccably that one must experience it to believe it.

The band is committed to performing live what they feel would be an accurate reproduction of The Beatles’ repertoire. The band members do not try to impersonate the members of The Beatles and focus instead just on the music. The band is often accompanied by a horn section (known as the Hogshead Horns) and a string section (known as the Creme Tangerine Strings) to achieve the proper sound.

The history of the Fab Faux goes back more than two decades.

“I was on tour with marry Me Jane,” said Pagano, during a phone interview last week from his home in New York’s Chelsea section.

“Hiram Bullock’s management saw me play and thought I’d be a good addition to his band. Hiram wanted more funk. I loved him on Letterman with Will.

“I auditioned and got the gig. It’s a player’s gig and Hiram wanted everyone to do solos. We were in Paris and by the third night I was tired of doing solos. I went into Ringo’s solo at the end of ‘The End.’ Will jumped up onstage and went into the guitar part of ‘The End.’ After the show, will said to me – I knew you had Beatles language in your playing. It was true. Ringo had always been a big influence for me.

“I had never wanted to be in a Beatles tribute band, but you don’t say ‘no’ to the great Will Lee. He wanted to do the Beatles thing. Will was living in the same building as Jimmy Vivino, who was working with Conan at the time. At that same time, I was playing in Joan Osborne’s band with Jack Petruzzelli. The final member was Frank Agnello. Frank and I were doing duo gigs on Staten Island.

“Will invited us all to his apartment and said – why don’t we try ‘Because.’ We sussed out the harmonies. We always knew the playing would be good. We were all lead singers and we were amazed at how well we blended together. We started playing small venues around the city and people kept coming out.”

Petruzelli said, “It started there. It took off and now has been going on for 21 years.

“When I tell people I’m in a Beatles tribute band, I have to tell them that we don’t dress up. There’s nothing wrong with dressing up. We know Beatles tribune bands that look and sound great.”

Even the best plastic surgeons in the world couldn’t make the members of the Fab Faux look like John, Paul, George and Ringo.

“We just try to bring the records to the stage – to recreate the records as close as we can,” said Petruzelli. “We approach it from a studio environment. It’s all about the music.”

The Fab Faux has been doing a good enough job of playing Beatles music that it has survived more than two decades. The Fab Faux now has an amazing number of Beatles songs in its repertoire.

“The Beatles had 211 recorded songs and we can do all of them,” said Pagano.

Video link for the Fab Faux — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5BDZpVMQ_w.

“THE FAB FAUX PERFORMS THE GLORIOUS HODGEPODGE SHOW with the Hogshead Horns and the Creme Tangerine Strings” will start at 8 p.m. at the Grand’s Copeland Hall.

Another upcoming shows at the Grand is Tammy Pescatelli wutrg special guest Collin Chamberlain at the Baby Grand on October 26.

Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will host Derek Webb on October 26, Coco Montoya on October 26 and The Numbers on October 27.

The Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will present The Steel City House Band’s Night of the Living Dead” on October 26.

Chaplin’s (66 North Main Street, Spring City, 610-792-4110, http://chaplinslive.com) will host Answer The Muse on October 25.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will present Kneebody / Gnarbot on October 24, Broken Arrow with special guest Transistor Trio on October 25 and Los Straitjackets and  Ben Vaughn Quintet on October 26.

Burlap & Bean Coffeehouse (204 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 484-427-4547, www.burlapandbean.com) will present Craig Bickhardt and Jesse Terry on October  25.

Living Room (35 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, https://thelivingroomat35east.com) will present “An Evening with Ben Arnold” on October 25, Scott McClatchy Band on October 26, and “Costume Party with Phoebe Legere” on October 27.

118 North (118 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne, www.118northwayne.com) will host Anthony Krizan Band (Formerly of Spin Doctors) w/ James Pace Band on October 25, and The Commission’s 20th Anniversary Concert on October 26.

The Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com) presents Bob Saget on October 25, Tegan and Sara on October 26 and Sam Bush on October 27.

The Locks at Sona (4417 Main Street, Manayunk, 484- 273-0481, sonapub.com) will have John Eddie (solo) with special guest Ben Davis Jr. on October 26.

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