For anyone who has lived in Kitchener, Ontario since the 1980s, it’s a safe bet they know the enigmatic graffiti adorning a prominent railroad bridge that simply states, “Twas Now.” No one really knows who put it there or what it means, but for the duo of Mike and Diana Erb, they’ve found a message within it that has come to embody their approach to making music.
In adopting the name Twas Now, the Erbs felt it encompassed their vision of combining the oldest forms of folk and country music with modern lyrics and attitude. They proved definitively how capable they are at mining the past with their 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award-nominated debut album Old Fashioned Way, which featured songs by the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, Hank Williams and others.
Now with Flesh & Bone, the pair put their own songwriting talents on display while musically adhering to roots traditions. Teaming again with producer John “Beetle” Bailey, whose resume includes work with Serena Ryder, Alex Cuba and Molly Johnson, the Erbs laid down the 11 songs on Flesh & Bone in the relaxed atmosphere of their family cottage, beginning with just their voices and acoustic guitars. Mike began the overdubbing process afterward, which was finished through the help of renowned local players such as fiddler Shane Guse, upright bassist Mark McIntyre, and pedal steel guitarist Steve Wood.
In many ways, the Erbs believe Flesh & Bone is the culmination of everything about music they’ve learned on their own to this point, and also the first step, as Twas Now, on the path toward an entirely new level of creativity.
For more info, head to: twasnowmusic.com
And take a listen to their track ‘She’s With Me’, below…