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Washboard Union sing together and Shine On together

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Vancouver based roots trio Washboard Union saw a trio of friends jamming in the basement of an old Tudor house they were renting explode to unexpected levels of success since becoming n band in 2015.Washboard Union play the shine on Music Festival, Sept. 2. Photo submitted
 they play  the Shine On music Festival at the University of Lethbridge Stadium, Sept. 2.

“ Our new single is called ‘Shine,’ so when they booked is, we thought they named the festival after us,” chuckled Washboard Union multi-instrumentalist David Roberts, who plays the washboard in the band among several other instruments.

“Shine” has been a pleasant surprise for Washboard Union.
“We just released the single at the beginning of summer and people were already singing it back to us, which is an amazing feeling when people sing back one of our songs,” Roberts said, adding they are looking forward to playing “Shine On.”

“Anything with shine in it is all right with us,” he chuckled, adding he is excited to share a stage with luminaries like Dallas Smith and Corb Lund.
“I think there’s also a  DJ too,” he said.

 Things have moved quickly for the band,who have been nominated roots artist of the year  by the British Columbia country Music Association and signed with Warner Brothers record label and scored several rootsy, breezy, optimistic, harmony hits including “Shine,” “Head over Heels,” “Shot of Glory,“Can’t Complain” and “Maybe it’s the Moonshine” which reflects the sounds of the Emerson Drive and Blue Rodeo.”

“ I’ll take that compliment. Actually Warner Brothers is doing a 50 year celebration album with up and coming artists recording versions of their established artists’ songs, and we got asked to record Blue Rodeo’s “Hasn’t Hit Me yet,’ which is a really honour, but it also made me feel a little nervous,” Roberts said.

 Roberts met step-bothers Aaron Grain and Chris Ducombe while renting rooms in a 1920s Tudor house in Vancouver.
“Their parents met each other and married, so they’ve known each other since they were 13 and 14,” Roberts observed, adding they immediately started singing and playing together.
“It‘s great. We love what we do. We love making music together,” he continued.

“All of us are multi-instrumentalists and we all write songs, so there is never any trouble coming up with material for an album. There are a lot of creative possibilities,” he continued.

“Some of our first shows were  birthday parties in the basement of that house” he said, adding  a serendipitous meeting with super producer GGGarth Richardson, who has produced hard rock acts like Nickelback and Hedley, set them on their path.

“He happened to be at one of those parties. And even though he’s known as a a rock guy, he said he liked what we were doing and wanted to record a few of our sings,” Roberts continued, adding Richardson introduced them to super producer Bob Ezrin.

“And he’s worked with Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd and he was excited about us,” he enthused.

“We just sing our hearts out. We write simple music for complicated times,” he said, adding they are grateful for the help of such high profile people.

““We have three really different voices with different influences. Chris listens to a lot of R and B, Aaron is the country guy. We’re three voices which are better together than on our own. I don’t sound as good without Chris and Aaron, and they don’t sound as good without me,” he added.

“We have a ton of influences. We sings songs that go back all the way to 1947,” he continued, adding they also like bluegrass music as well.

“Though we’re not the greatest bluegrass players,” he continued.

 They have a lot of excellent gigs coming up.
“We’re playing the CCMA awards in September. That’s going to be really fun,” he said adding after that, they are going to work on a new album.

“ We hope to release it in the Spring. But last time we wrote 57 songs to choose from and we had to whittle them down,” he continued.
 Washboard Union plays the Shine On Music Festival at the University of Lethbridge Stadium, Sept. 2 at around 4 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:48 )  
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