Meet the MusicWorks Panelists: David Landreth

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David Landreth

On Wednesday, September 28, musician, songwriter, and Manitoba Music's professional development coordinator, David Landreth will be joining us for our MusicWorks event, Marketing Plans as Roadmaps to Success. Get to know him a little better and grab some insight into why he puts so much value in a solid marketing plan…

David began his career backing up many Canadian artists as a bass player for hire, before finally taking the obvious leap to start a band with his brother, Joey. The Bros. Landreth toured the world behind their debut album Let it Lie, garnering praise from Rolling Stone, kudos from Bonnie Raitt, and a JUNO for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. Recently, Dave has joined Manitoba Music as the professional development coordinator where he can share his experience as an artist and use his first-hand knowledge of the music industry to help members with their careers.

How did you get involved in this whole racket anyhow?

I grew up in a musical family. My dad (Wally Landreth) was a working bass player on the scene as well as a singer/songwriter and my brother was practically born with a guitar in his hands. Joe was touring with bands and playing bars before he was finished high school. I got into music mainly as a way to spend some extra time with my brother and dad. They looked like they were having so much fun. The moment I picked up the bass, though, I was hooked. It wasn't until I was in my early 20s that I thought I might actually stand a chance of working on the scene with the other pros in town. I threw myself right into the world of being a side-person for hire and over the course of about five or six years I went from playing a few nights a week in night clubs to touring around the world and supporting myself entirely with music.

When did you decide it was time to start your own band?

That one was really up to my brother, Joe. He called me up one day after he had finished a particularly grueling tour. I was on the road with Imaginary Cities at the time. He had this idea that we should start a project, just for fun. We were both doing the side-person thing, and both feeling like we could use a creative outlet. Being a session guy has a lot of perks, but you can get pretty hungry, creatively speaking, for an opportunity to write your own songs and arrange your own music. I thought this was a brilliant idea. Joey, not so secretly, has always been my musical hero, and it may well have been Paul McCartney on the phone asking if I wanted to write some tunes together. The first chance we had, when we were both in the same city at the same time, we sat down to try and write songs. It wasn’t perfect, but there was some undeniable chemistry. We thought it was neat enough that we should probably start a band and record a record. The rest is history!

How did you get stuck doing the business and admin for The Bros?

We launched our self into the world of the DIY artist without really knowing what we were getting into. Every step of the way we had to jump over some hurdle that we didn’t know was waiting for us. We split up the jobs based on our strengths. Joey became the leader creatively, running the band, organizing rehearsals, set-lists, producing and arranging the material. I had a stronger sense for numbers, and organization. I had done some tour management in the past and that was my starting point for any kind of artist management. We asked a lot of questions, googled our butts off, and (*insert shameless plug here*) attended every workshop and conference that we possibly could.

Any tips for young artists getting off the ground?

Of course! Here’s my two big ones:

  1. Make great art. Great music is at the heart of why any of us are in this business. Strive to be the best artist you can be. Write the best music you’re able to. Don’t compromise.
  2. If the music is great, the only thing standing in your way is doing the work. So, do the work! Put your nose to the grindstone and remember that you will always be your greatest champion. No one will ever care more about your music than you do. No one will ever work as hard on your project as you can.  


Marketing plans are essential music business tools that serve as roadmaps and guides to measure your progress and success. They’re also critical elements of most funding applications. Learn how to make a pragmatic and useful marketing plan that identifies short-term and long-term goals and lays out strategies to achieve them.

MusicWorks DIY Series offers developing artists and industry, as well as veterans looking to update their skills, the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the music business.

Register online, or to get more info, please contact:

David Landreth, Professional Development Coordinator
Manitoba Music
P: 204.975.5188

MusicWorks is made possible by the generous support of the Province of Manitoba through Industry Services of Manitoba Jobs and the Economy; the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR) through the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters; The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group; and The SOCAN Foundation.

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