Active Since: 2014
Home location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Sounds Like: Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, Hank III, Allman Brothers, Blue Rodeo
Members: Don Norman (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Ryan Cyr (lead vocals, drums), Leo Kopelow (electric guitar), Kevin Morin (bass)
Releases: Hearts Gone Cold (2015), Drive by Feel (2018)
Winnipeg’s Black River Drifters draw on the past but push the boundaries of alt-country/roots rock. Their two albums have won praise from fans and critics alike, and their raucous live show appeals to music lovers from all walks of life.
Often compared to Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams and The Old 97s, BRD’s debut album Hearts Gone Cold received praise from local and national press when it was released in 2015, and early reviews of their second album Drive by Feel are even stronger. In the words of the Winnipeg Free Press’ Jeff Monk the “hard folk sound and darker lyrical subject matter reveals a mature feel... a whole new realm of listenability.”
The band’s sound is framed by principal songwriter Don Norman and realized by the powerful dual lead vocals of Norman and drummer Ryan Cyr. Their combined harmonies have been described in the press as "revealing a depth of emotion and a striking grasp of how two voices can ideally mesh." Cyr and bassist Kevin Morin (bass) hold down a tight rhythm section and Leo Kopelow's down to earth — and at times unhinged — lead guitar completes the package.
Black River Drifters' latest release, Drive by Feel, was launched digitally on all major platforms in February. The band is currently promoting their upcoming CD release in May at the iconic Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club in Winnipeg.
video introduction to the band
- These Chains I'm In selected as a Top Video Pick of the Week by The Alternate Root Magazine
- 5-star review in Winnipeg Free Press.
- Completed second album with producer Todd Hunter and engineer Michael Falk (Weakerthans, JP Hoe).
- Completed video for first single.
- Shared bills with Grapes of Wrath, New Meanies, Ridley Bent, Union Duke, Sean Burns, The Honeysliders and more.
- Performances at a number of Manitoba and Ontario festivals
- Airplay on CBC and college radio, regular interviews on college radio
- Debut album release selected as one of CBC's "Top 5 Things to Do This Weekend"
- Mentions on music.cbc.ca, Folk Alliance Region West, Americana Music News, Exclaim Magazine, and Twang Nation
new album review
select music videos
Press contact: Don Norman | firstname.lastname@example.org