When you hear new country duo Britt and Blaire on the airwaves with their infectious new single, "Young Summer," odds are that the connection that you make with them will be an instant one. It definitely was for Blaire Hanks on the evening he wandered in to Calendar's Deli in Macclenny, Florida, and saw the woman who would change his career -- as well as his life.
Britt remembers the night, as well. "It was in late December, and I was on stage doing a Christmas song," she recalls.
In addition to feeling his heart beat a little bit faster, Blaire admits he was also smitten by her talent. "She had been singing since she was young, and I had been playing guitar since I was about eight years old, and writing a little bit. I had never really done anything in front of a crowd until I started to get around her. She kind of helped bring it out of me."
The duo spent a while perfecting their sound, and then fate struck. "We got a call from a man named Dean Scallan, who was a producer in Nashville, and he wanted to cut a few songs on us," says Hanks. Then we got hooked up with Mike Borchetta, who told us that he wanted to work with us. So, we got married in February, and moved up to Nashville," he says.
Working with Borchetta, the legendary executive who was responsible for signing Tim McGraw to Curb Records, and also helped propel Hal Ketchum to stardom in the early 1990s, has been nothing short of unbelievable, he says.
"It's an honor. He's such a big man in Nashville," Blaire says. "When he called, I knew I had heard of him, but then I googled him, and I thought 'Wow.' We wouldn't be where we are without them - both he and his wife Martha are so sweet. They have taken us under their wing."
Moving from the Sunshine State to Music City was a little bit of a culture shock to the two. Both admit being struck at how deep the talent pool in Davidson County is.
"Coming from Florida, I was the music man," states Blaire. "I thought I was hot stuff 'till I got to Nashville. The town has a way of humbling you, that's for sure."
What struck Britt was just how many people were there to do the same exact thing they were. "It's the craziest thing at just how deep the talent runs. Everyone we meet - waiters, waitresses, everybody sings or is in a band."
When asked to describe their sound, Blaire came up with the interesting title "Trop Rock." He says that has been a description he has heard more than once. "A lot of people have called it that. It's kind of a mixture of Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett, and I'll take that anytime," he says of his influences.
Right now, the duo is out on the road, making their introductions to PD's and MD's across the country. Blaire is having the time of his life. "It's been a blast. I'm loving it. It's been so much fun. I'm the kind that really doesn't like being in just one place for a long time. We'll be at our apartment for a week or two, then I'm ready to go. I love being out on the road."
- The 615