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The Good Brothers

  • The Good Brothers
  • The Good Brothers

The Good Brothers have gained a worldwide audience over the course of their accomplished career. Bruce and twin Brian, along with kid brother Larry, knew they were destined for something bigger than their suburban Toronto roots. Formed in the early '70's, the Good Brothers first gig was at a legendary Toronto club, The Riverboat, on May 14, 1974. They played simple music, straight from the heart that encompassed country, bluegrass, folk, and the occasional taste from the rock and roll songbook. Fiddle tunes flowed as did cover songs, highlighted by Larry's banjo breaks, Bruce's autoharp, their unique sibling harmonies, and enough on-stage energy to burn down the cornfield.

The memories continued. James Ackroyd and various pals from The Grateful Dead supported the first record, distributed by Columbia. Then came the cross-Canada trip on the infamous Festival Express with Janis Joplin, The Band, The Grateful Dead and Ten Years After...to mention just a few. What excitement - the gigs at San Francisco's Fillmore West, the nights at L.A.'s Troubadour with John Hammond and Tracy Nelson, and the weeks at the Universal Amphitheatre with ("the mentor") Gordon Lightfoot!

It wasn't long before The Good's were packing Toronto's fabled El Mocambo five nights a week; breaking bar records, attendance records, and exhausting determined dancers. Then there were eight-straight Juno Awards as Best Country Group, and headline gigs at Massey Hall and the National Arts Centre. There was even a self-titled platinum album.

Fast-forward almost 30 years - and they're still here. No long breaks for the Goods - they kept making records, and gigged relentlessly. Next year they're off on tour in Europe, again; this will be their 21st tour on the other side of the Atlantic. They've kept the flame burning, and the music going, and those determined dancers have never stopped. The '80's and the '90's came and went, and Canada's musical soundtrack, through all those years, included The Good Brothers.

Yes, the times have changed - the music business isn't like it used to be, and nor is most of the music. The brave days seem to have vanished, and the sheer joy of making music seems harder and harder to discover. And yet...what's this? The new album by The Good Brothers! One True Thing, as accurate a title as anyone could use. Simple. Direct.

The sibling harmonies are still there. The fleetness of banjo, guitar, and autoharp is joined by John P. Allen's fiddle, and the guitar and mandolin of Travis Good from The Sadies, representing the next generation of the family.

More than half the songs on One True Thing are written by Brian and Bruce while the others include old classics like "Old Man at The Mill" and a rock song by Quebec's own Michel Pagliaro. It's still country, it's still bluegrass, it still works in bars and at folk festivals and it still gets 'em up dancing at jamborees.

The songs still come straight from their hearts to your tapping toes and the smile on your face.

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