Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bellamy Brothers' David Bellamy on 40 Years & the Future: 'I Don't Know What Retirement Means'

Bellamy Brothers' David Bellamy on 40 Years & the Future: 'I Don't Know What Retirement Means':

Bellamy Brothers photographed in 2015.
Bellamy Brothers photographed in 2015.

Jarett Gaza
Veteran country performers the Bellamy Brothers have a new project on the market -- one that David Bellamy says is the perfect mix of the past and the present.

"We were wanting to put something out that wasn't just a rehash of all the hits," Bellamy told Billboard of the duo's new 40 Years: The Album. "We are glad that people still want to hear them, but we wanted to do something different. So we came up with the concept for the 40th anniversary of also doing a completely brand-new album. At the time when we started it, we had about 12 songs. As we went along, we came up with a few more songs, so we thought, 'Why not have 20 hits and 20 new songs?' So that was our concept for the project."

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Disc one contains many of the Bellamys' classic hits, such as "Old Hippie," "Feelin' the Feelin" and "Redneck Girl," while disc two is full of 20 brand-new performances, including "Living in Oblivion," a song that David says is straight out of his brothers' philosophy. "That's a song Howard wrote. I think that's how he would like to live, but it's hard for him. It's a state of mind he tries to attain, but it's not really attainable. I love the track. It's got a country-reggae groove on it. I think it sounds incredible."

Speaking of sounds, Bellamy feels that the style of "Hippie Cowboys" might sound more than a little bit familiar -- at least, that's what he was aiming for. "I wrote it like a TV theme song, like The Monkees or The Beverly Hillbillies. It's one of those kind of songs, a TV theme kind of song," he said.

Is it hard for the Bellamys to believe they're celebrating the 40th anniversary of the recording of their breakthrough hit, "Let Your Love Flow"? David says it all depends on the day -- and the mood. "On one hand, it is hard to believe sometimes. When I look back on it, some days it feels like a hundred years, and sometimes, it's just like yesterday. But I guess it's the way you perceive time to be. We're very happy that we've been able to maintain a career for 40 years and still be able to tour the world and be relevant."

After four decades of recording -- including 26 top 10 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, is there anything that they would do differently if they had the chance? "There's probably not much. There's a few deals that I might have made differently, but some of the worst ones turned out to be the best in the long run. It's so hard to give yourself advice. I think the way we did it was the way it was meant to be. There's not really any regrets, maybe a few record deals I would have not gotten involved with, but things happen the way they do," he said. "We're just grateful to still be here."

The duo has a full slate of concert dates on the schedule for the remainder of the year, and they're starting to put dates on the books for 2016. "It seems like people book further out than they ever have. I don't know what the reason for that is. It's not unusual to get an offer for a year ahead. Sometimes it's hard to make a decision on that because you have no idea on what you're going to be doing a year from now or how you're going to be feeling."

Needless to say, the word "retirement" isn't on the Bellamy Brothers' radar anytime soon. "I don't know what retirement means. I guess they will probably ship me home in a box from a show. We don't really have any plans to stop working anytime soon. Both of us feel like we're still healthy and we want to go out and play, and it's still fun for us. So we're still doing it, and having fun while doing it."