From the very beginning, Jesse and Noah Bellamy were surrounded — surrounded by the musical life of their father, David Bellamy of The Bellamy Brothers: by members of the Oak Ridge Boys and Lynyrd Skynyrd and David Allan Coe, who would visit the family’s cattle ranch in Darby, Fla.; on the tour bus to Nashville with their father for the old “Fanfair” events; when they met fans and country music stars like George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Loretta Lynn and Ray Stevens. It made quite an impression.
So it’s not surprising that the brothers would become music-makers in their own right, but with a phenomenal sound — country rock with two-part harmony — that separates them from the pack.
They’ve found an affinity for Texas music that could date back to The Bellamy Brothers touring the Lone Star State and their father returning to the ranch with albums by Texas artists — or while they toured the state as front men of their early band, Elston Gunnn. They say they realized a connection with the music and recognized that both Florida and Texas share a blend of cultures and musical styles that makes it difficult to view a particular sound as simply country or rock when it’s really a mix — like their country-rock harmony.
Early on, they converted an old hay barn to a recording studio, where they rehearsed and recorded their first demos. They listened to and learned from Guy Clark, Hank Williams Sr., The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Van Morrison, Johnny Cash, Willis Alan Ramsey, John Prine, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Graham Parsons, Waylon Jennings, The Beatles, Buck Owens, Rosanne Cash, George Jones, Emmy Lou Harris, Jimmie Rogers, The Eagles, The Band and Billy Joe Shaver.
Their first notoriety came as front men of the Central Florida roots-rock band Elston Gunnn (one of Dylan’s early stage names), which in 2001 released the critically acclaimed album, THE KEY TO THE HIGHWAY on their own Bellerophon Records.
The band hit the road behind THE KEY and toured the East Coast and Southeast, playing every venue from state fairs and music festivals to clubs as diverse as Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville and CBGB, the underground rock haven in New York City. Playing for large and small crowds helped them to sharpen the sound, and they focused their songwriting with frequent trips to Nashville to network with some of the city’s best songwriters.
As the duo Jesse and Noah, the brothers toured Europe during the summers of 2005 and 2006, performing at festivals in Switzerland, Norway, and the United Kingdom, delighting audiences and earning rave reviews and major international airplay along the way. Willing to do anything to share their music, they once rode a cable car to a gig high in the Austrian Alps because it was the only way to get there.
Back in that home studio on the ranch, the brothers work constantly, recording and even stopping to demo while they write so they can tweak and refine the music. What has evolved are Jesse’s vocal ability and songwriting talents and Noah’s engineering and guitar skills and an instrumental repertoire that includes electric and acoustic guitars, percussion, bass, mandolin, keyboards, Dobro and banjo.
Now comes their 2007 album, NOWHERE REVISITED (Smith Entertainment), with two tracks — the friendly warning “Daddy’s Got a Shotgun” and the rambunctious “Wild and Willin’ ” — already making waves and already demonstrating the duo’s smart storytelling lyrics, solid rock guitar and outstanding brotherly harmonies.