Canadian troubadours The Abrams Brothers have released their auspicious new album Northern Redemption via United For Opportunity. This is the first studio album of original material for the band, which consists of brothers John Abrams (vocals, guitar, mandolin, keyboard, percussion) and James Abrams (vocals, violin) and their cousin Elijah Abrams (bass).
Born into a four generation touring bluegrass family, John and James have been on stage in the family business since they were 7 and 10. From this musical weaning, they have forged a sound considered to be “Abrams Brothers Music” in Canada. It’s a sound that lives somewhere between Americana, country and roots music.
Together as The Abrams Brothers for over 10 years, the band became the youngest Canadians to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. In 2005, they were named Emerging Artist of the Year at the Canadian Bluegrass Music Awards. Over the past few years, The Abrams Brothers have been a constant on the Canadian festival circuit and have shared the same stage with Feist, John Hammond and Dean Brody.
Recorded on Wolfe Island, Ontario at the home studio of producer Chris Brown (The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Tony Scherr, Ani DiFranco, The Barenaked Ladies), the new album features nine original songs along with a beautiful, bluegrass version of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” “For us, Chris Brown’s studio is like what “Big Pink” was to The Band: a rustic, cedar shingle covered cabin, secluded from any sense of haste brought about by an urban setting” says John Abrams. “This was exactly the environment we needed to create this project. If you listen closely enough, you can almost hear someone stoking the wood stove behind a vocal take, or an axe splitting wood behind a violin solo.”
Drawing from their vast influences including the Louvin Brothers, Tony Rice, The Beach Boys and Neil Young, The Abrams Brothers seamlessly fuse bluegrass with country and folk-rock. Lyrically, the album draws heavily upon the landscapes of the Canadian wilderness, and merges these images with themes of love, loneliness and restless ambition. “The songs draw upon the many experiences of growing up playing music with four generations of Abrams musicians, coupled with the youthful unrest we feel in wanting to further our own career” explains John Abrams. “The album is a bit of a paradox: a parallel dynamic between our retrospective view of our decade long touring career, along with the fact that we are still very young (James and I are 19 and 22 respectively) and feel like our career is only just beginning.”