THE WASHBOARD UNION STORY
5 X Country Music Award winners for 2016 The Washboard Union have defied classification and have become one of the most exciting and talked about new bands on the Country music scene. This year the band took home both Rising Star and Roots Artist of the Year awards at the Canadian Country Music Awards and won 3 BC Country Music Awards for Group, Songwriter and Roots Artist of the Year. They had 2 top 10 singles in the past year with “Maybe It’s the Moonshine” & “Shot of Glory”. As Warner Music/Slaight Music recording artists they are an authentic blend of where country and bluegrass are headed next. This year alone they have shared the stage with: The Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, The Band Perry, Reba McEntire, Dwight Yoakam, Lonestar and more. As regulars to Nashville Tennessee the band recorded their latest EP In My Bones at the legendary RCA Studio A. You simply have to see them Live!
The Washboard Union are a sextet out of Vancouver, British Columbia that are led by principle members Aaron Grain, Chris Duncombe and David Roberts. The three have been friends seemingly forever and the music they make has set them apart as one of the most unique talents in country music today.
Duncombe & Grain eventually packed up and left their hometown of Kelowna, BC. and ventured to Vancouver where they moved in to a magnificently beautiful 1920’s Tudor style mansion. By coincidence Roberts was himself renting in the same mansion and would occasionally join the brothers for impromptu single malt fueled jam sessions. These early sessions would be the kernels of what would blossom and eventually give rise to The Washboard Union. Living there at that time Roberts would reminisce “was like living in a garden gone to seed.” Grain provided guitar and vocals and Duncombe added his own voice and a banjo. Roberts, a singer and multi-instrumentalist with harmonica, guitar, mandolin and of course, the washboard in his arsenal, became the team’s secret weapon.
The band’s independently released self-titled debut album was produced by noted rock producers GGGarth Richardson (Nickleback, Biffy Clyro, Hedley) and Canadian Music Hall of famer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd) – on the track “Half Cree” – whom the band are proud to call a friend and mentor.
In January 2015, The Washboard Union returned to Nashville, Tennessee to record their latest EP In My Bones in the legendary RCA Studio A. Originally built in 1964 as the home for Chet Atkins, RCA has been home to some of the most prolific recording artists in Nashville’s rich history including Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett, The Beach Boys, and more and more.“… Standing in the great room you can literally hear a chorus in every wall. It remains as one of the most legendary music rooms in the world. I can tell you this, you don’t sing in Studio A, Studio A sings to you” says David Roberts.
In My Bones was produced by Trey Bruce (Faith Hill, Randy Travis, Diamond Rio), a name known well in Nashville circles and one of people responsible for saving RCA Studio A from potential demolition. The band met Trey after having written the song “Someday” together earlier in 2014. Trey called the band immediately after that first session and demanded he take the producer helm for the bands next record. The answer, of course, was “yes.” The Washboard Union were joined on the recording of this album by a group of accomplished Nashville musicians including Bob Britt (Dixie Chicks) on guitar, Greg Morrow (George Strait , ZZ TOP) on drums, Michael Brignardello (Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan) on bass and long time guitar player Craig ”Long Haul” McCaul.
The Washboard Union is a band that you simply have to see live to fully appreciate.