There's a reason for the sunshine sky and there's a reason why the Bellamy Brothers are coming to Bakersfield.
The iconic country duo known for hits "Let Your Love Flow," "If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me" and "Redneck Girl" will perform as a part of Blake Shelton's Friends and Heroes tour, including a stop Feb. 20 at Mechanics Bank Arena. The concert will also feature special guests Lauren Alaina, John Anderson and Trace Adkins.
Howard Bellamy, who performs with brother David, spoke with The Bakersfield Californian about the band's upcoming concert.
The Bellamy Brothers have had a pretty extensive career. How have you continued to keep it fresh and exciting?
That’s probably the hardest part. I think because we’ve been able to write such diverse music, we’ve got a little bit of rock, country, a little reggae, it lets us be creative. We've been fortunate that people have accepted whatever style of music we’ve done.
How does it feel to be a part of Blake Shelton's Friends and Heroes tour?
It’s great to be included in that. Blake doesn’t forget his friends. He still seems like the Blake we always knew. He’s a little more full of himself than ever (laughs).
With plenty of singles and fondly remembered songs, do you have one that you are particularly fond of?
Songs are a lot like children: Some days you like one more than the other. It depends on your energy.
Back in the old days, we would have a lot of producers try and get us to record songs that we didn’t agree with. We didn’t feel like they had a lasting impact. I’m glad we stuck to our guns. Most of our songs have lived a long time.
The Bellamy Brothers have created quite a few songs that have withstood the test of time. Is there a secret to knowing when a song has a long lifespan?
I guess. You can take credit for some of the stuff you do but most of the stuff — everything that we have — is a gift that was given to us from the people that listen to our music. We owe them for that longevity.
Now, you and your brother started your own record label (Bellamy Brothers Records). Was this an effort to have more control in the songs you created?
In part. In ’92 we started our own label. It’s right on our ranch and we can go out there and record. We can be creative and it’s just right at home.
During the ’90s every country station was "New Country." The writing was on the wall. We’re being put out to pasture. So we —
(Midsentence, the call with Bellamy ends due to a call failure.)
I’m sorry about that. We got cut off.
I was talking to myself for about a minute there before I realized what happened. You really missed out on the best I had for this interview (laughs). Where was I?
You were discussing how ‘New Country’ in the ’90s inspired Bellamy Brothers Records.
Every station was "New Country." We knew that we had to do something so we created our own record label. It was for our survival. We decided to control our own destiny and we’d learned a lot about distributing records throughout our career.
What do you hope audiences take away from a Bellamy Brothers concert?
We’ve approached the concerts with the mindset people come to forget about their troubles. It’s a place for release. If you can make them have that release and they can forget how crazy this world is then we've done our job.
What’s the future hold for the Bellamy Brothers?
If I knew that I’d be set wouldn’t I? We’re still recording some brand-new stuff. We’ve got a reality show ("Honky Tonk Ranch"). We’re still touring all over the world — this year we’ll be going to Europe, Australia, India. Not