Strumbellas bring ‘popgrass’ tunes to City

Set for a City stop on Nov. 5th at Fratters Speakeasy, The Strumbellas are indeed riding high following the international release of their latest project We Still Move On Dance Floors.

The Strumbellas is a Juno-award winning, six-piece Canadian band, whose music has been described as alternative country, indie rock and ‘folk popgrass’.

Formed in 2008 in Toronto, the band consists of songwriter Simon Ward on vocals and guitar, David Ritter on vocals and keys, Jon Hembrey on lead guitar, Isabel Ritchie on violin, Darryl James on bass guitar, and Jeremy Drury on drums.

Hembrey, James, Drury and Ward are all originally from Lindsay, Ontario, while Ritter and Ritchie joined after Ward posted a call for additional musicians to Craigslist.

The band’s self-titled EP was released in 2009, garnering positive reviews and mentioned by many as a band to watch. And 2010 was a busy year as they were invited to play venues like Yonge-Dundas Square, the Horseshoe Tavern and the Peterborough Folk Festival.

Their full-length debut CD, My Father and the Hunter, was released in 2012 and was nominated for a 2013 Juno Award in the Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Group category.

The band later signed with Six Shooter Records, releasing their second project We Still Move on Dance Floors, in 2013. The album was produced by Ryan Hadlock.

We Still Move on Dance Floors went on to win a 2014 Juno Award in the Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Group category.

Since then, they have been long listed for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize, taken home ‘Roots & Traditional Album Of The Year: Group’ at the Juno Awards this year and won the SiriusXM Indie award for Folk Group Of The Year.

They also spent this past summer running the festival circuit with stops at TURF in Toronto, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Folk on the Rocks in Yellowknife, Live At Squamish, as well as their first tour on the Pacific Northwest.

For We Still Move on Dance Floors, the band headed to the woods of the Pacific Northwest, settling in at Bear Creek Studio just outside of Seattle to record with Grammy-nominated producer Ryan Hadlock. It seemed a natural progression for the band, whose dark lyrics about death and solitude crop up amongst beautiful lyrical mindscapes of trees and lakes and home.