In September, the country duo released their second album’s debut single, “East Tennessee Son” ahead of the EP with the same name which is set to be released on Feb. 16. The debut single off the band’s sophomore album has already climbed to No. 64 in the MusicRow country music charts. The song, according to Seth, pays homage to life growing up in East Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains and paints a picture of the region they still call home.
“Our home and upbringing have molded and shaped who we are today, and we wanted to write a song that shared our love for our friends, family and the community, and the beautiful natural surroundings of East Tennessee,” Seth said in a press release following the release of the single.
The brothers’ love for music started at an early age. Throughout the late ’90s, they began playing gospel music with their parents, who performed at their local church as the Singing Duggers during their time in ministry. Seth said the brothers have been playing music “all their lives” since then, and when they were teenagers, they started playing their own country music together.
“We fell in love with country records when I was 12 and Jordan was 15. I learned fiddle and Jordan learned acoustic guitar from records like that, and it just kind of went from there,” Seth said.
The brothers started working to find their own sound with their first album before moving to Nashville.
“When we recorded a few records in our basement when we were younger, we did our first country album in 2014 called ‘Fly.’ I wrote all the songs then, and that was right before we moved to Nashville. We hadn’t played many shows yet when we put that out in 2014,” Jordan said. “Then we moved to Nashville and played about 200 shows a year. During that process, we started seeing the next step as far as our musical direction.
“Nashville gave us an opportunity to find our sound and play a lot of songs to see how crowds responded to them.”
Through the process of playing and “feeling out the crowds” in Nashville’s competitive country music scene, the sound that makes up the music on “East Tennessee Son” was born. Aside from “East Tennessee Son,” which has more of a traditional country sound, the rest of the album, produced by the brothers along with Paul David and co-writer Bill DiLuigi, features music inspired by the brothers’ eclectic tastes in music — with influences ranging from Merle Haggard and Ricky Skaggs to Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson.
“I would describe ourselves as pop country. We write our music to fit the mood of each song. With ‘East Tennessee Son,’ it has more of that ‘mountain feel’ to it with the traditional instruments,” Seth said.
Some songs on the album have a poppier, modern sound to them. The fourth track on the EP, “#doitforthestory,” pays homage to “all things millennial.” This track has been described as a “rave of the digital age,” featuring references to Netflix, Instagram and yes, “mirror selfies.”
Despite their future goals of branching out and climbing higher in Nashville’s country music scene, the brothers still remain close to their roots — often playing shows in East Tennessee on a regular basis and staying in touch with friends and family in the region.
“We both grew up in Greeneville, so we’re still up there a lot when we’re passing through for shows and when we have a few days off to see family and friends,” Jordan said.
To learn more about the Dugger Band or pre-order “East Tennessee Son,” visit www.duggerband.com, where memorabilia and tour dates can also be found.