With the release of Northern Redemption, The Abrams Brothers – John, James and cousin Elijah – make a transition from the music of their roots to their own distinct sound. It's a combination of bluegrass, country and folk-rock that's had the Canadian festival circuit up in arms over their potential, and the rest are sure to catch on. The release of the first single, "Nothing At All," to Canadian radio on May 10, 2011 launched the band onto a two-week country radio tour, and saw them make tremendous in-roads at CBC Radio as well. The Toronto Star raved, "The Abrams Brothers have been blowing away audiences with their virtuoso playing and effortless harmonies drawn on a long family tradition of bluegrass and folks music." And that's just the start of the journey for this album. The past couple years have seen the much-loved Canadian trio rising through the ranks. In 2009 the band released Blue On Brown, an album of songs by Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan. The record was the boys' tribute to songwriters they had always admired, and even Arlo Guthrie, the legend himself, chimed in saying they were "way too young to be playing that good." When the video for the band's next single, a cover of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" made a splash on CMT in both the U.S. and Canada, the band reached a larger audience yet. And in late 2010 The Abrams Brothers released a new video for the single "Mermaid Town" that went straight into medium rotation on CMT. The Abrams Brothers are fourth-generation musicians with musical roots reaching back to their great-grandparents. And despite their age, veteran is certainly not a word out of reach given their credits. They've been touring together for almost a decade – and in the past few years, have become Canadian festival favorites. In 2005, the Ontario-based group became the youngest Canadians to appear on Nashville's iconic Grand Ole Opry. They've toured Europe, and several times have performed for the Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival in Israel. In 2006, the band received the Daniel Pearl Memorial violin, given to especially gifted young musicians. Released on June 21 in Canada via United For Opportunity/Fontana North, Northern Redemption is the fourth release from The Abrams Brothers. The nine-track album was produced by Canadian singer-songwriter/producer Chris Brown (The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Tony Scherr, Ani DiFranco, The Barenaked Ladies). It starts off with title track "Northern Redemption" – an ode to the passing of time and missed chances with pitch perfect harmonies and a hint of twang – and then takes the pace down a notch with sparse instrumentation and mellow 60s pop vocals singing longingly to a sleeping lover the things we're sometimes afraid to say to their face. The album's first radio single, "Nothing At All" is a rollicking country-driven tale of a man realizing he has to build his own future, set to some fierce fiddle, a bursting chorus and even an electric guitar solo. We find a more traditional-sounding bluegrass song in "Where I'm Bound," which showcases the band's multi-instrumental chops while reminding us these guys are too sweet to leave their girl behind when they sing, "I wouldn't mind if I was [growing old] with you." "While You Sleep" features pedal steel guitar and chugging rhythms while our singer croons to a lover of running away with her in the night. We hear the endearing voice of a first budding relationship in the folk-rock track "Thirteen." And, almost hidden at No. 7, "Leaving Love Behind" is a ballad as painful as it is beautiful with a lingering chorus that's sure to stick in your head. Next is the band's clever pickin' cover of the Coldplay mega-hit "Viva la Vida." And the album rounds out with "Planet of Seasons," a tender country song of love and the passing of time. Northern Redemption is an album of love gained and lost and one about getting out and moving on. Yes, The Abrams Brothers have grown up and truly shine as young men on this one – young men with a taste of life whose insecurities fall second to a passion to make their own destiny.
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