"The third recording from Vancouver's The Breakmen draws on influences of alt-country, bluegrass, old-time, vintage Neil Young, and Grateful Dead circa Workingman's Dead to create a West Coast music sound that has muscle and resonance" - Tony Montague, Georgia Straight, Vancouver
"Meticulous craftsmanship of the songwriting, the strength of the lead vocals, and the tightness of the harmonies distinguish the quartet from other Canadian outfits mining a similar vein..." - Penguin Eggs
"The Breakmen's sound is an experienced one and the band deftly avoids the pitfalls of modern folk music, the members' smooth voices, cautious in their tales without being fearful, while the music is aged just right, a blend of today tempered with the past." - Eden Munro, The Vue Weekly, Edmonton
"Listening to The Breakmen's Heartwood is like taking a road trip through the Canadian Landscape - your bound to gawk at rolling hills, experience a flat tire, and cry for home....but in the end, all you can remember is that the journey was beautiful" - Danielle Pope, Monday Magazine, Victoria
“To the already long list of Canadians who bleed pure Americana please add The Breakmen. Like their countrymen in The Band before them, they have been known to inspire a bit of the old-time religion with their sublime vocal harmonies.” - Nathan Baker, San Francisco Bay Gaurdian
Stylistically, the Breakmen have been compared to bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, and with their second release, the group has become a significant force in the world of Americana music. - Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine.
"Vancouver's kings of harmony...." - Rogue Folk Club, Vancouver
"As The Breakmen continue to achieve their own pure and raw brand of folk music, there is no question that they will be prominent figures in the new wave of indie bluegrass." - McGill Tribune, Montreal
"With their new album The Breakmen have placed themselves ontop of the Americana Scene...." Folkworld Magazine, Germany
While treading water in a sea of indie-folk sub genres, The Breakmen scan the horizon for a glimpse of something meaningful and true.
With their most recent release, Heartwood (2010), The Breakmen sought to create an atmosphere of improvisation and creativity. Relying on the songwriting of Archie Pateman and Lee Watson to inspire, The Breakmen created something lasting in the now vast expanse that is Canadian Folk Music.
In early 2012 The Breakmen are gluing together the parts and pieces of a new album. In late 2011, during their most recent tour, the band found itself collaborating and creating more than ever before; each spare moment seemed to be filled with spontaneous song ideas, lyrics on paper, new instruments swapping hands, inspiration, and a movement toward what they refer to as "Canadiana".
"Listening to The Breakmen's Heartwood is like taking a road trip through the Canadian Landscape – your’re bound to gawk at rolling hills, experience a flat tire, and cry for home....but in the end, all you can remember is that the journey was beautiful" - Danielle Pope, Monday Magazine, Victoria
The Breakmen are no strangers to the idea of songwriting. Since forming in 2005, the band has recorded 3 critically acclaimed studio albums, appeared on 3 compilation albums, won the 2009 Americana Album of the Year at the Independent Music Awards, and have been nominated for 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards for their album, When You Leave Town. “Challenging each other musically has produced some of our most genuine material. Asking someone to step outside of what they’re used to is how we grow….we have been doing a lot of that lately and it shows” says Lee Watson, Breakmen songwriter.
Although known primarily for their songwriting and studio efforts, The Breakmen have honed a remarkable ability to bring their recordings to life on stage. There are plans a foot for major tours in Europe, the U.S. and Canada in 2012 and beyond, including a major Western Canadian tour in February.
Interestingly enough, when people see a banjo, a mandolin, and an upright bass, what comes to mind? Bluegrass? Not the case with The Breakmen. Referred to by CBC Radio 2 as “Rock and Roll Banjo” people often fail to see that The Breamken are multi-instrumentalists who swap between handmade tele-caster guitars, Hammond organs, mandolins, harmonicas; all backed by some of the best drummers and studio musicians in the country to create their own brand of Canadiana music.
The Breakmen have fast become a sharply focused roots music outfit that owes as much to The Band and Blue Rodeo as it does to John Hartford and Bill Monroe. With a new approach to songwriting and an effort to create something lasting, The Breakmen are ploughing new and fertile ground in the dry and dusty fields of the Canadian Folk Music Scene. Archie Pateman adds that “people often tell us that our albums feel like something to them or that the collection of songs helped them through something. Some can’t put their finger on it, and some have an exact feeling in mind….that means a lot to us in a time of singles and 99 cent songs.”
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