Why Bry Webb Rules by David Lander (2014)
In 2000, I was a 15-year old living in Kingston and most of the musical avenues presented to me forced me to choose between Our Lady Peace, Aqua or Matchbox 20. My friend Jon’s brother, Peter, came home from Guelph that Christmas and, with him, came a red CD with a match. Needless to say, I fell in love with the Constantines that summer. They became my favourite band.
Over their four albums, the band always seemed to develop upon what they had created the past, with each record providing a snapshot of what they were and what they were becoming. While his words have changed from shouts about running tongues over the body of a nation to worries about being a provider, the Constantines’ lead vocalist, Bry, creates music that always seems to be rooted in the moment – never rehashing the past, always creating in the present with questions about the future.
Bry is creating something timeless and, while it is often deeply personal, it is still, somehow, totally universal. The day after Provider was released, two people told me that “Rivers of Gold” was an instant classic – one was a 35-year old man who had toured the country countless times over, the other was a 15-year old female who was just starting to perform.
I have changed a lot from being that 15-year-old in Kingston to the man I am as I write this tonight on Neeve Street, sipping on a Wellington Frost Quake with my cat circling my feet. Since that Christmas years ago, however, Bry has been one of the few artists whose music has always been around me – being the soundtrack of many past moments and a reminder of the beauty that comes with constant change.