Thirteen years can put a hell of a lot of wear and tear on even the hardiest of rock ’n’ roll bands. But don’t be fooled by all those hundreds of thousands of miles on Micky & the Motorcars’ odometer: pop the hood of Hearts From Above, the long-running Austin band’s seventh album, and you’ll find a brand-new engine, fine-tuned and good to run for at least as many more miles still ahead. And behind the wheel? Two brothers and founding members Micky Braun (lead vocals and guitar) and Gary Braun (guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and vocals) invigorated and supercharged by a transfusion of new blood from fresh recruits Josh Owen (lead guitar, pedal steel guitar), Joe Fladger (bass), and Bobby Paugh (drums). Micky and Gary, who by their own admission, haven’t been this fired up about playing together since they first rode south from the Whitecloud Mountains of Idaho to stake their claim to the Texas and wider Americana music scenes.
THE BELLAMY BROTHERS: THE LOVE STILL FLOWS…
Howard and David continue to prove that the trail they’ve ridden to fame has been as unique as their music itself—music that is now celebrating 40 years of success.
The road that started on the pop music charts in the ‘70’s, took a winding turn into country music in the ‘80’s, paving the way for duos to come, such as Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Big & Rich, and previously—The Judds. But before the road forked into country, the musical odyssey of brothers Bellamy started creatively smoldering in their home state of Florida, before exploding nationally amidst the ’70’s pop music culture of L.A.
The brothers first official gig was in 1968, playing a free show with their father at the Rattlesnake Roundup in San Antonio, Florida. They honed their early skills playing black clubs throughout the south, and singing backup for artists such as Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, and Little Anthony & The Imperials. Within a few months, the brothers moved north, immersing themselves and their rock/country sound in the Atlanta market, where the Allman Brothers were the emerging kings of the music world.
With the dawning of the Age of Aquarius on the horizon, and America embroiled in a smoke haze of drugs, civil unrest and an unpopular war, The Bellamy's music picked-up the hard driving edge that bespoke the times. Songwriting had become David Bellamy’s drug of choice during the long road gigs he and Howard were regularly pulling bodies and equipment to and from. It was his songwriting that was posed to soon provide the duo a national breakout.
The break came in the form of the hit, “Spiders & Snakes,” written by David and recorded by Jim Stafford. The song became a smash, eventually selling more than three million units worldwide. It became the catapult that rocketed the brother onto the L.A. music scene. Young and impressionable, Howard and David fell into the musical circle of the greats of the day: Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and Van Morrison, as well as West Coast based country rockers like Poco and the Byrds.
It was a creative shoe that fit.
Now known by their music and the company they were keeping, The Bellamys officially lifted off the launch pad in 1976 when their single, “Let Your Love Flow,” became an instant smash in both the U.S. and Europe. It stayed on the international charts long enough to build a huge international fan base for the hip young brothers that endures to this day. In Germany alone it perched at #1 for more than two months. The love was indeed flowing as The Bellamys jammed for audiences on their sold-out concerts and shared stages with the likes of Loggins & Messina, the Doobie Brothers, and the Beach Boys., with their patented blend of rock/country music.
True to their musical roots, their style and their songwriting was moving steadily more towards their raising. By the late ‘70’s The Bellamys were emerging on the country charts with another bona fide smash. “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me),” originally scrawled on a dinner napkin by David, rocketed them to the top of the country charts the way “Let Your Love Flow,” had done in the pop market just a few years earlier. It proved to be the first of a string of fourteen #1 singles in the U.S. alone.
Success followed success: “Dancing Cowboys,” “Sugar Daddy,” “You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie,” “Lovers Live Longer,” “Do You Love As Good As You Look,” “Redneck Girl,” “For All The Wrong Reasons,” “I Love Her Mind,” “I Need More Of You,” “Old Hippie,” “Too Much Is Not Enough,” “Kids Of The Baby Boom,” and “Reggae Cowboy” and “Crazy From The Heart,”…all have lined the corridors of the Bellamy’s musical history and their walls with platinum and gold.
Along the way, Howard and David created a patent on the newly cool “duo” category in country music. In the era of the 2000’s, The Bellamy Brothers hold the record in both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association Awards (CMA) for the most duo nominations. Numerous Grammy nods have also been directed toward the brothers.
Internationally, the story has been the same—though the titles may be different. The Bellamys have released more than two-dozen hit songs outside the U.S. that were never released here. With a sharp eye on the songwriting skills that have been the bedrock of their success, Howard and David concur that their career is unique in their international finesse for matching their songs to the market.
“For the international releases, you have to have a strong melody,” notes David. “The lyric is very important, but internationally the melody is something fans can lock into, even if they can’t understand the lyrics.” Howard and David continue to perform and film TV specials in Europe and around the world.
These days when the subject turns to touring, The Bellamys are showing a new generation of country music how it’s done. “We’re old road dogs,” grins Howard when asked about the motivation behind the brothers 200 plus concert dates each year. Adds David: “Our live draw is bigger than it was in the ‘80’s. I think the same people that grew up with us and with our music in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s obviously have raised a whole new generation of Bellamy fans who started toddling to our music. Now they’re turning up at our concerts as college kids, who are really turned on and tuned in to us and our music….it’s a great feeling.”
On the infrequent off days from the road, Howard and David head the bus back to their 150-acre family ranch in Darby, Florida just north of Tampa. A working ranch, the spread consists of Purebred Charlois cattle and quarter horses. Amid a land lush with fruit trees, ancient oaks and crepe myrtles, three generation of the Bellamy family, headed by David and Howard’s mother, Frances, populate the homes clustered in the family compound.
The Bellamy Brothers latest project is their new album titled '40 Years' is an ambitious project that celebrates their career with 20 of their biggest hits and then adds 20 brand new songs in this 2 cd anniversary collection.
More than 27-years after Travis Tritt launched his music career, the Southern-rock influenced artist continues to display strong sales activity, sell-out shows, and stay true and relevant to Country music fans across the globe. Continuously performing shows and withholding a heavy appearance schedule, Tritt is proving to be unstoppable.
The highly abbreviated Tritt timeline started when the young Marietta, Georgia native incorporated his lifelong influences of Southern Rock, blues and gospel into his country during a honky-tonk apprenticeship that led him to Warner Bros in 1989. Between then and 1999, Travis released seven studio albums and a greatest hits package for the label. His 1990 debut Country Club and its succession of hits put him in the vanguard of the genre's early '90s boom, dubbing him as one of “The Class of ‘89,” which included Country music superstars Garth Brooks, Clint Black and Alan Jackson; all whom dominated the charts in the early ‘90s.
“Country Club,” “Help Me Hold On,” “I’m Gonna Be Somebody” and “Drift Off to Dream” peaked at numbers two and three on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts; all which led for Tritt to win Top New Male Artist award from Billboard and the CMA Horizon Award (now known as the New Artist Award). Additionally, in 1991, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) marked Travis’ debut album Country Club as certified platinum.
Two years after his Country Club debut, Travis’ second album, It’s All About to Change, was released. Literally speaking, this album changed everything when the album shipped three million copies and all four of it’s singles reached the top five on the country music charts. Along with his first album, this second album became triple-platinum certified by the RIAA.
At the same time, his conspicuous lack of a cowboy hat and musical aggressiveness set him apart. The next series of albums, seven of which are certified platinum or higher, scored him more hit singles and led him to amass more than 25 million in career album sales, two Grammys, three CMA Awards and a devoted fan base that filled venues coast-to-coast.
He's been a force in sports appearances, having performed at the 1996 Olympics, two Super Bowls, a World Series Game, the opening of the Georgia Dome, the final Braves game at Atlanta-Fulton Country Stadium and, in 2013, the NCAA men's basketball championship.
In 2012, Tritt formed his own label, Post Oak Recordings and shortly after released his album The Calm After... Included on the album is a duet with Tritt’s then 15-year-old daughter, Tyler Reese. The song, “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough,” is a cover of the 1980s pop hit. Together, they released a video for the track, which is available for viewing here. Four of the songs on the album, co-produced by Randy Jackson, were either written or co-written by Tritt.
Most recently, Tritt topped the SoundScan Top 200 Catalog Country Albums chart for over 60 consecutive weeks with 15 weeks spent at #1 and 35+ weeks notched in a Top 5 position. Tritt’s compilation album, Very Best of Travis Tritt, which was released in 2007, saw a resurgence of sales that started in Nov. 2014. The 20-track album features some of Tritt’s biggest hits, including “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive,” “Here’s A Quarter,” and “Anymore.”
Tritt is now gearing up for the release of his first live DVD project, titled Travis Tritt & Friends. Recorded at the historic Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tenn, the DVD will feature Tritt performing some of his biggest hits in a live, intimate acoustic setting. The project will be released later this year.