Jesse and Noah have a wide array of music in their background. Born in Darby, Florida,
the brothers were raised on the family cattle ranch but chose music as a career. By the
time they moved to Nashville in 2002, they were well versed in the older country music
that their grandmother loved and the pop/country sounds played by David and Howard
Bellamy, known around the world as the Bellamy Brothers. David just happens to be
their dad. Then there were the pop and rock influences they listened to as teens.
The duo’s latest single, “The Vision,” was just released. It has an accompanying video
filmed in the badlands of Alberta, Canada. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jesse
and Noah were unable to participate in the video, but they had no worries that it would
be a video that effectively portrayed the story related in the song.
“We met Al Moon, who did the video for us, some time back, and we became fans of
her work,” Jesse said. “We just gave her the song and said go with it. She lives close to
the Badlands so she chose to do the shoot there.”
The lone cowboy in the video chooses a motorcycle over a horse, yet he endlessly
chases the mysterious horse of his dreams along the highways and through the hills of
the Badlands. The answer to his quest is as mysterious as the stallion who runs with his
mares, and the storyline is akin to the spaghetti westerns that the brothers are fans of.
“We like a good combination of vintage and modern themes, sounds and looks,” Jesse
explains. “Al's approach really matched the spirit of the song and track.”
Jesse and Noah have released a diverse set of material over the years. With their first
album, Nowhere Revisited, released in 2006, they visited the red-dirt country sound of
Texas and Oklahoma and fit right in. In 2007 they were cited as one of country’s “Who
To Watch” acts by the Country Music Association. One of the songs on that album,
“You’re The World,” was also included on the Bellamy Brothers album, Jesus Is
Coming. A second album, Driven Back, came out in 2012, and the video for the single,
“You Could Have Had It All,” was featured on CMT. This project was followed by
Brethern, an EP of cover songs in 2015.
Southern Usonia was released in 2016. Rolling Stone premiered the video for the single
“This Town Was Built on Heartbreak Songs,” which was filmed at Nashville’s popular
nightclub Nashville Palace and featured footage of the honky tonks on lower Broadway
in that town. It also featured cameo appearance by Tanya Tucker. T.G. Sheppard,
Ronnie McDowell, Deborah Allen and the Bellamy Brothers.
“One of the positives about living in Nashville is being around people who are
professionals and who have done this for a living for many years,” says Noah. “Every
time we have worked with outside people, I have learned different things. Every time
that I have worked with other producers, I have learned new tricks. That is probably the
best thing about being in Nashville.”
Jesse and Noah have the always talked about sibling harmonies, and they are well-
rounded musicians and songwriters. Jesse started writing when he was 12 while Noah
chose to hone his expertise on the guitar. Eventually both joined the other in their
endeavors, and the brothers make a great team as songwriters, providing most of the
material that they record (with the exception of the album of cover tunes). Jesse and
Noah also contributes their expertise as musicians in both the studio and on stage.
As songwriters, Jesse and Noah choose the Lennon/McCartney model – each builds
the foundation of a song, then gives it to the other to add their expertise in finishing it
off. While they love writing with each other, there is no hesitation in sharing writing
credits with other master songwriters, including their father. When they moved to
Nashville, they sought out folks like Becky Hobbs, Deborah Allen and Benita Hill
because they were eager to write with some of Nashville’s top tunesmiths.
As close as they are as brothers, they can almost read the other’s mind when it comes
to writing the songs they write and record. They easily move from country to Americana,
adding a tinge of rock n’ roll and southern rock or bluegrass. Their songs are moving
stories of people and places they have known as well as rocking numbers that inspire
their audience to get up and dance. Slow ballads are among their favorites, but they
also like to rock out with electric guitars wailing. Songs range from wonderful stories of
their grandfather to commentaries on today’s world.
“We've really liked writing story songs lately. We grew up listening to writers like Tom T.
Hall, Marty Robbins and Bobbie Gentry who specialized in story songs. I am not sure
that storytelling is as in vogue as it was but our audience seems to really like it and we
like like writing them,” says Jesse.
As they sharpened their skills through these collaborations, Jesse and Noah realized
that they had something unique to say, something different from what mainstream
writers were doing on and beyond Nashville’s Music Row. “Of course, we grew up
appreciating everything that our dad and his generation were creating,” Jesse says. “But
they were very pop oriented. Even the country songs of that time were very melodic,
very inspired by the Beatles. We love and learned a lot from that."
The duo has a recording studio in their home in Nashville, which lends itself to many
long nights when they are working on an album or getting just the right lines in a song.
They produce their own projects and never hesitate to ask their dad what he thinks
about the music they are creating. The two are proud of their musical heritage but don’t
lean on it. Rather, they made their own way as they moved forward to develop their own
unique personal sound. They have developed a core group of devoted fans in Texas
and the Southwest as well in the Northeastern United States.
Jesse and Noah are also popular in Switzerland. “We did a few shows there that went
really well. We had big crowds. The European Country audiences seem to really dig
what we do. Dad has always done well in Switzerland and in Germany and the first
time that we played in Switzerland was 10 years ago when we opened for the Bellamy
Brothers. Now we are able to go back on our own and we have gained our own
audience,” says Jesse.
“It is a small community of people who are hardcore Country Music fans and there are
several big Country Music festivals that happen there annually,” continues Noah. “The
last time that we played at a festival (in Switzerland) it was one that is known for being
the longest running Country Music festival. It is one that runs every weekend for a
month. They bring in different bands from the U.S., the U.K. and everywhere. The local
Swiss bands that open are actually very good at doing American Country Music. We
had really good bands that opened for us.”
The duo admits they have a lot of older country music influences because of their
grandmother, who raised them on Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins and Jim Reeves. “We
heard a lot more old country music growing up than we did modern country,” Jesse
explains. “When I think of country music, I tend to think of older stuff. I think the older
music is just so much better. Even when we tried to be a clone and we tried to do music
that fit into that commercial country box it just didn’t work for us.”
Jesse and Noah are currently working on an album that will include “The Vision” and
other self-penned tunes.