Bluegrass with a tinge of salt water

Tara Bradbury
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The Spinney Brothers to perform in St. John's, Carbonear this week

Award-winning Nova Scotia bluegrass band The Spinney Brothers will play two shows on the island this week - one in St. John's on Wednesday and one in Carbonear on Thursday. — Submitted photo


It's the Spinney Brothers' distinct East Coast Canadian sound that sets them apart from other bluegrass bands, but puts them on par musically with bluegrass from the heart of Kentucky, says local producer Roger Lockyer.

"They take that southern flair and blend it with the commonalities that are in our East Coast music sensibilities," Lockyer said. "You listen to their music and you can kind of tell there's something different about it. There's a little tinge of salt water on a Kentucky bluegrass."

Lockyer, through Foleymore Productions, is bringing the Nova Scotia-based band to the island for two shows this week.

The first show is at George Street United Church in St. John's on Wednesday, followed by one at Freshwater United Church Community Centre in Carbonear on Thursday.

The Spinney Brothers first performed in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2010, and headlined the 2011 Bluegrass and Old-Time Country Jamboree.

Since winning the "Most Promising Band" award at the Eastern Canadian Bluegrass Music Awards in 1992, they've made music their full-time career, and have eight full-length recordings under their belt - most recently, 2010's "Side by Side."

In the past year alone, they've had two No. 1 hits: "The Train Song," which made the top spot on the Sirius XM Bluegrass chart, and "Memories," which topped Bluegrass Unlimited's Top 30 Songs chart.

The Spinney Brothers began as brothers Allan and Rick Spinney from the Annapolis Valley, and grew to include Gary Dalrymple on mandolin and Darryl Hebb on bass.

"They have great charisma and give an engaging performance," Lockyer said. "Once they start playing, you can't turn your ears away, not only because of the great musicianship, but the fantastic harmonies that go on top of that. It's nice when somebody comes along that stands on par with all of the great ones (in the States)."

The super-tight harmonies come from the brothers themselves, and are the result of a close relationship, Lockyer said.

Born on the same day, one year apart, Allan and Rick "haven't been out of each other's company for the last 40-odd years," he said.

"The vocal harmonies are so fantastic, it's really something only blood relatives could achieve, I guess."

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and both shows start at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the St. John's show are available at O'Brien's Music.

For the show in Carbonear, tickets are available at Western Petroleum.

Check The Telegram's Facebook page or follow @stjohnstelegram on Twitter to win tickets to see The Spinney Brothers in either St. John's or Carbonear. Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: The Spinney Brothers, George Street United Church, Freshwater United Church Community Centre Western Petroleum

Geographic location: St. John's, Carbonear, East Coast Kentucky Newfoundland and Labrador Annapolis Valley

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Recent comments

  • Earle Pike
    May 15, 2013 - 11:19

    You will never see a better show with a mixture of bluegrass, country and gospel anywhere...well worth your time for an evening you will remember until the next chance you have to see them.