Country music has hip-shaking Georgia fellas, wonderful duos and more than its good amount of tall, dark, and foreseen singing songs about one, loss and alcohol.
The genre has never mastered anything like Essex County. Combined with British brothers Nate, Mark and Kieran Bass, the trio’s easily one of the country music’s most crafty and nuanced groups. The band’s sound is pleasant with compact, family harmonies, joined by mixture of active vocal dimensions and expanded by putting country and rock influences that are displayed in songs that sway from soulful and heartfelt to holler-and-swaller.
Mentioned that they are hoping to be the “biggest country act to ever come from the United Kingdom,” said the band’s Grammy-winning producer Ron Fair, who has produced albums that have sold more than 100 million copies. “Mark is a master on the guitar. Kieran is lockstep in all the harmony parts and a terrific dependable singer with a wonderful tone. And Nate has this old-time tone that’s old school, but also new school. It’s fancy, but it’s very manful and enjoyable. Their pathway to Nashville started at London’s Wembley Stadium when they were kids- but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
Six months after the brother started music lessons Mark 10, (guitar) Kieran 8, (bass) and Nate 12, (drums)- the family watched from the audience at Wembley Stadium as Queen’s Brian May, and famous guitarists Steve Vai and Eric Clapton named Mark the top guitarist in England for Guitarist magazine.
The prize was an axe valued at more than $30,000. The instrument was stolen before he the building. The next year, the brothers were playing an instrumental set of Joe Satirani covers in a London music store when a music executive approached them and asked if they could sing. The executive shared interest in signing them a record deal- with a proposal that led them to two years touring Europe and a shady business associate who took their money and cost the family its home. “Going through all of that, makes your family bond strong,” Nate shares. “You realize the money and fame isn’t as important.”
Their father David is an outgoing carpet fitter who showed them how to find fun in every situation. Their mother Diane, is a nurse who taught each of them how to write songs. They penned “Can’t Find Me,” with them and the song remains one of the most popular in all their setlist. On family vacations, they listened to country music. George Strait and The Eagles were part of their family vacation song list. As they got older the brothers were exposed to American rock bands, like Bon Jovi. They then expanded their country music experience with harmony kind of bands like Restless Heart, Rascal Flatts and Diamond Rio.
They married their influences into an edgy, different sounds that grabbed the attention of foreign princes, known television producers and even a cruise line chief who offered them thousands of dollars to be the house band for hision of foreign prince fleet. It was while playing on the open seas that Essex County met a couple from Indiana, who told them they should try their luck in Nashville. Their advice was the same their mother had told them since they were children. Their mother noticed that bands in Europe were having success taking songs from Nashville and turning them into pop hits. First, the idea seemed too crazy. But when the Americans offered to help pay for the trip, the trio reconsidered.“Mum was like, this is where you’re going to make it,” Nate recalled. “So you jump the ship and you go.”
Now as adults, the men realize the family’s hard times were stepping stones on their road to Nashville. Essex County met its manager Rob Beckham on a trip to the United States in 2018. Beckham introduced them too Fair, who was responsible for producing their songs “So Good” and “Memphis,” and set up recording process sessions with their other producer, Hall of Fame songwriter Steve Droff. Droff’s work has been seen on albums selling more than 150 million copies.
The brothers jumped into the songwriting community, writing songs with top Nashville writers Victoria Shaw, Jeffery Steele, Desmond Child and Kent Blazy. “We written with all the songwriters that “Mum played for us in the car,” Kieran said. “To be writing with them is surreal.”
With multiple tracks recorded as well as three music videos, a mini-documentary and a Chevrolet commercial, the men are set to make history as country music’s first British Invasion.
“It means a new chapter in our lives to be here now,” Mark said. “This place here suits us down to the ground. “It’s been a very long journey to Nashville,” Nate added. “Through perseverance and the love of music, we just kept going. This whole community, the songwriters, just everyone who is playing music kind of lifts you. This just feels right. It feels amazing.
On January 28, 2022 the boys put out their brand-new single “Next to Me.” This new song and other songs from the band are available on both Spotify and Apple Music. If you would like to find out more about this great country trio then please check out their website at (https://www.essexcountyband.com/lads).
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