A pair of Winnipeggers got a shoutout from the stage during music’s biggest night of the year.
“I wanna thank the Bros. Landreth for writing this kick-ass song,” legendary American blues singer and guitarist Bonnie Raitt said in her acceptance speech for Best Americana Performance at Sunday’s 65th Grammy Awards.
The song she won for, Made Up Mind, is a cover of the Winnipeg alternative country and folk group’s song from their 2013 album Let it Lie.
“Oh man, I woke up on the right side of the bed, let me tell ya. It’s a good day,” Dave Landreth, one half of the Bros. Landreth, told CBC Manitoba’s Information Radio guest host Pat Kaniuga on Monday.
“I’m just over the moon, man. It’s just the best, best news ever, we’re so happy. The entire journey of this song has been utterly mind boggling and so surreal and so wonderful.”
Landreth and his brother, Joey, first crossed paths with Raitt at the 2014 Winnipeg Folk Festival when they were a relatively new opening act and she was the headliner. They were wowed to perform the same day with someone Landreth says they “worshipped.”
“We grew up her biggest fans. Her music was on the radio, it was on the shelves of our record collection … and we listened to it nonstop,” he said.
“We had the first gig and Bonnie was closing that night. Halfway through our set, Joey turned to his left and saw a shock of red hair and then snapped his eyes forward because he was terrified that maybe that was Bonnie Raitt watching our set. Turns out it was,” Landreth recalled.
After her set, Raitt invited the brothers to hang out backstage in the green room. They talked for a couple of hours and became friends, Landreth says.
“And she gently suggested that if there were any songs that we thought she might dig, to be in touch and let her know.”
At that point they didn’t have any, Landreth said, “because the songs that we were playing on stage were all the songs we had ever written.”
Fast forward a few years and albums later, it was around Christmas time in 2021 that Dave and Joey heard Raitt was interested in recording Made Up Mind.
Her version was released in February 2022 and became the lead single for the album Just Like That.
“[It] wound up charting, wound up being No. 1 on the radio for 10 weeks, and now it has won a Grammy,” Landreth said. “It’s too much, man. Pinch me.”
The song is now so popular — and widely known with Raitt behind the mic — that the Bros. Landreth have jokingly introducing it at their own shows as a cover song.
“We’ve been having fun with that because in our minds, truly, when we heard her sing it, it was kind of like well, I guess that is her song now,” Landreth said.
“The song has always belonged in her hands and coming out of her mouth. And that’s exactly the way we like to hear it.”
Raitt’s award for Best Americana Performance was one of three Grammys the 73-year-old picked up Sunday night. She also won Song of The Year and Best American Roots Song, both for Just Like That.
She bested artists including Beyoncé, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Adele for Song of the Year.
“An artist who, 52 years after putting out her first record, is cleaning up these kind of awards, is so relevant, is resonating with such a huge audience,” Landreth said.
“What it represents for careers like ours in Americana and roots, and the kind of trajectory that you can have, is just so inspiring. Anybody out there who thinks that they’re too late in their careers or or their moment has passed, just forget it, keep your foot on the gas and keep doing it.”
The brothers have sent Raitt a congratulatory note but aren’t expecting to hear from her anytime soon.
“She’s got a lot on her plate. I’m sure she’s got a lot of folks she needs to talk to,” Landreth said.
Besides, he said, Raitt has been more than gracious to them.
“She’s taken every single chance she has to talk about us and give us credit for the one song [of ours] that she cut on the record. Every time she’s in an interview, our name comes up,” Landreth said.
“She is one of the classiest, most genuine down-to-earth human beings. It’s been an incredible relationship.”
If all of that wasn’t enough to keep Dave and Joey floating, The Bros. Landreth are also up for their own awards.
Their latest album, Come Morning, is nominated for Contemporary Roots Album Of The Year at the 2023 JUNO Awards
“It’s an embarrassment of riches,” Landreth said.