The Sumner Brothers, released their new album, I’ll Be There Tomorrow, in September. It’s my first experience with this Vancouver duo, and it has left me with a powerful first impression.
I’ll Be There Tomorrow is an extremely diverse album that can only be described as experimental country and blues with a couple of covers mixed in. The musical arrangements and instrumentation on each song are perfect backdrops creating the moods and settings for The Sumner Brothers’ stories. Not only are the arrangements spot-on, but their vocals are terrifically suited for this grungy, rootsy, bluesy, country music.
Fiercely opening with “Toughest Man In The Prison Camp,” an experimental, garage, punk-like blues tune with the muscular sound of crashing percussion, screaming guitars, and Brian’s rough, howling vocals. This is definitely a statement song demanding attention and telling the listeners that The Sumner Brothers mean business. Simply put, they ain’t playin’, son! The brothers then move into something more haunting in “Going Out West.” In this song, you’ll hear guitar strumming, some banjo plucking, and the tumbleweed-blown sound of a steel guitar while Bob expresses turmoil in his somewhat pained vocals. For me, the song has a Dust Bowl feel and sound with a modern twist. Then, they move into a stunning cover of “Coloardo Girl” that would garner Townes Van Zandt’s approval. “Lay You In The Grave” is a daring combination of country and western music with a cynical attitude while “You Will Find Me” has a slightly different stance and gentler sound. Toward the end of the album The Sumner Brothers perform a loud and raw cover of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudups’s “That’s Alright.” Closing with the quiet and sleepy instrumental “I Would Love You In The Kitchen” is an appropriate end to the album’s bold sound.