"relocate Giant Sand's late-night desert blues to the trans-canada highway in the dead of winter...dead-cool driving music for people who don't own cars" - Eye Weekly (Toronto)
The Brothers Cosmoline is a 5-piece group from Toronto performing original songs rooted in traditional American folk & country music. Long-time friends Dan Kershaw (singing, acoustic guitar) and David Pedliham began performing together in 1992 as an outlet for their songwriting - a relationship that stretches back to high-school days in London, Ontario. Growing up in the shadow of radio and TV from Cleveland & Detroit, both teenagers cut their teeth on the musical melting pot that was AM radio at the time. But as Dan told the Edmonton Sun, "it was all about teenagers. The reason I was drawn to country music was the more grown-up themes, the play of Saturday night and Sunday morning. I wanted to mix these worlds together". Featuring pedal steel and hip-shaking country soul, the band's music underpins a literate, brooding revision of the concerns that used to characterize the country genre: work, class, love, marriage, faith, longing, and escape. The displacement of these traditional styles and themes among the effluvia of contemporary urban culture sometimes throws both worlds in relief, and other times uncovers strange sympathies.
The group formed in 1993 with bass player Don Bull (Taxi Chain, Mighty Train Revue), Mike Holynaty on pedal steel, and drummer/singer Howie Beck (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Que Vida). This version of the band, which performed regularly in the Toronto area for 5 years, brought together influences as diverse as Gram Parsons, the Velvet Underground, Bill Monroe, and the Beatles. The addition of noted guiarist/mandolinist Steve Briggs (Bebop Cowboys) in 1998 channelled the group's sound more forcefully in the direction of traditional country & bluegrass, but the polyglot influence of early 70's AM radio is not far behind. In addition to Dan and Steve, the current line-up features the formidable rhythm section of John Switzer (Jane Siberry) on bass and John Adames (Prairie Oyster) on drums, as well as the high-gloss pedal steel of Burke Carroll (Luther Wright). For the past couple of years the Brothers have been opening shows as the Brothers Kitchen - an acoustic, all-'round-one-mic bluegrass set featuring traditional songs, and Dan regularly travels the blue highways of classic country music with his Brothers Countrypolitan combo.
In October 2001 the Brothers released their debut recording, Songs of Work & Freedom, "a warm and wonderful waltz through broken hearted laments, late-night longings, and vistas of escape from clock-punched lives" - Canadian Musician. The album was nominated for a Juno Award (Best Roots / Traditional Album, Group), a CMW Indie Award (Folk / Roots Album of the Year), and is a feature of national CBC playlists and other roots-oriented programs in Canada & the US. In July 2002 The Brothers Cosmoline undertook a Canada Council supported tour of the prairies, including festival stops in Winnipeg & Calgary, to rave reviews. This past September the group was also selected to showcase at Folk Alliance Canada's Folk Meet, as part of Prairie Music Week in Winnipeg. That same month, the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) announced that the band's principal songwriter, Dan Kershaw, was the winner of their annual Songs From the Heart songwriting contest. The Brothers Cosmoline showcased to great acclaim at the OCFF's annual conference in Ottawa last October and again in February at the Folk Alliance Conference in Nashville. Most recently, the band knocked 'em dead at Twangfest in St. Louis, Missouri.
Songs of Work & Freedom is distributed in Canada by Outside Music, and is available online via MapleMusic (www.maplemusic.com). In July 2003 the record is released in the US and Europe on Slewfoot Records. www.paquinentertainment.com www.deepbluefunk.ca/broscosmoline.htm