Black River Drifters


A wildly successful sold out show…
the atmosphere was electric
— Winnipeg River Advocate


Don't spill the beans, the first three songs below (Rumble Strips, High Road and The Kiss) are sneak 'work in progress' peeks at tracks from our upcoming album!

Winnipeg’s Black River Drifters serve up original Americana roots rock, deep dark ghost stories, big harmonies and down-to-earth guitar work.

Leo Kopelow (lead guitar) Ryan Cyr (vocals, drums) Don Norman (vocals, guitar) Kevin Morin (bass)

Leo Kopelow (lead guitar) Ryan Cyr (vocals, drums) Don Norman (vocals, guitar) Kevin Morin (bass)

Following their well-received debut album release in 2015, BRD spent 2016 playing festivals and clubs in central and eastern Canada, and writing their second album from the road. That album, now in production with industry veterans Mike Petkau (Les Jupes, Magnificent Sevens, Royal Canoe) and Todd Hunter, drops in early 2017.

With a penchant for tales of hardship and historical misdeeds, the band draws on elements from country, southern rock, folk, and blues. Influences include The Band, Allman Brothers, Jason Isbell, Blue Rodeo, Ryan Adams, and all three Hanks. The result is a dark, lush and uniquely Canadian take on Americana.

A whole new realm of listenability
— Jeff Monk, Winnipeg Free Press


  • Well-received summer 2016 performances at a number of festivals (Winnipeg Fringe Festival main stage, Downtown ManyFest main stage, Shine On, Sherbrook Street Festival, etc)
  • Recently opened for a number of notable acts including Grapes of Wrath, New Meanies
  • New album in production at Paintbox Studios (Les Jupes, The Magnificent Sevens, Weakerthans, Big Dave MacClean, JP Hoe) 
  • Consistent airplay on CBC Radio and college radio throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland
  • Co-hosted fundraising show for University of Winnipeg Radio CKUW 95.9 FM
  • Glowing review in Winnipeg Free Press
  • Regular interviews on college radio
  • Debut album release show selected as one of CBC's "Top 5 Things to Do This Weekend"
  • Media mentions on, Folk Alliance Region West, Americana Music News, Exclaim Magazine, and Twang Nation, the blog of prominent Americana critic Baron Lane, who curates social media for the GRAMMYs


  • Formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 2014
  • Four core members, often joined by friends and collaborators 
  • A dark, lush Canadian take on Americana
  • Sounds like Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, Hank III, Allman Brothers, Blue Rodeo, The Band
  • Debut album "Hearts Gone Cold" released March 20, 2015

Dark spirits of bygone days, good stuff.
— Bryan Kehoe (Alice in Chains, Les Claypool)


BRD's debut video — the true story of a madman who terrorized Cleveland in the 1930s


Very good, very low-down …★★★★.
— The Saskatoon StarPhoenix

PRESS images

Press contact: Leo Kopelow  |  204 899 8406  |


©2017 Black River Drifters