#CMchat Exclusive Interview: Two Story Road

Two Story Road, husband and wife duo Brandon and Jamelle Fraley, began their careers on the road, backing up major acts. Their song, “Better When You’re Home,” tells their story – written by Brandon at a time he was at home while Jamelle was on the road with Carrie Underwood. Their songs are our songs – “Fit In.”

Two years ago Two Story Road released their self-titled EP. Produced by Mark Bright, the songs included some of Nashville’s best songwriters including Jeffrey Steele, Tom Douglas, Gordie Sampson, and Steve McEwan. The lead single was “Arson.”

Last month they released “Detonate,” the first single, from their upcoming full-length album.

How did you choose “Detonate” to be the first single from your upcoming album? Read Hunter Hayes & Andy Sheridan produced it – who wrote the song & what is its backstory? Can you share anything about the rest of the album’s songs? 

“We were actually four or five songs deep into the album with Hunter when we wrote ‘Detonate‘ with Fred Wilhelm & Barry Weeks. After writing the song, we went back to the studio to work on some other songs and decided to play Hunter the worktape demo we recorded that day in the writing room. We remember after playing it for him, he said he was pretty sure we had just written the first single for the album. After we started working on it in the studio and heard the song with the entire band, we knew that he was right.”

“As far as the rest of the album, we’re very proud to say that we wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks and can’t wait for our fans to hear what we came up with. We will always be proud of our first EP, but we’re fairly confident our fans will hear just how far we’ve come since that first project both as writers and as artists.”

Read an article where you discuss the path to becoming successful in the industry, how people may go from ‘A-B-D-C’ to get where you need to be … but couldn’t you say it was ‘C-D’ that brought you two together? Jamelle, what’s your favorite song from Brandon’s demo CD that he gave you right before you left for winter break freshman year? 

“The way we met at college happened fairly easily. We both knew fairly early on that we liked each other which eliminated any games or drama. After going out with him on back to back dates, my friends did tell me to make an excuse and turn him down for the third date in three days (to play hard to get) but I caved.”

“When it comes to that demo CD back in freshman year, first of all, wow! You certainly know your ‘Brandon and Jamelle’ history.  There was a beautiful song on that CD he wrote called ‘Face To Face‘ that was a simple guitar vocal that I just couldn’t get enough of. I haven’t heard that song in years but thanks for that trip down memory lane.”

Almost like the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, a children’s book which shows how things in life come full circle, over the years, you’ve collectively focused your careers on all aspects of musical development, while in Nashville and on the road, along with a who’s who in music – including Danny Gokey, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Jaci Velasquez, and Mike Doyle.

For new fans, can you share your connection to these people – the ‘A-B-D-C’ path of Two Story Road? Who else has influenced your development as solo artists and as a duo? Are there any artists you currently are mentoring? 

“Touring as band members to artists like Carrie, Danny, and Gretchen was invaluable. We learned so many life lessons that we apply to our own career today. The most valuable thing we take away from our touring years was learning that everyone and everything in Nashville is connected. Everyone you just mentioned was a dot along our path that leads to one thing after another and continues to this day.”  

What were the first songs you each learned growing up? Do you each come from musical families? 

“Although we were both very active in choir during junior high & high school years, we both got our start singing in Church. We can’t remember some of the first songs we learned, but both of our earliest memories of singing were in Church. That’s where we learned to be confident on a stage and to sing songs that meant something to us. We think that translates into Country Music because it’s the genre based on songs that tell stories that people can relate to. Songs that mean something.”

If you could record a duet with any country music star, who would it be? 

Brandon: “I know I’m in the same boat as a million other people, but I’m a pretty big fan of Kelsea Ballerini. Her songs are so infectious & clever. I think it’d be super fun to sing a duet with her. However, my wife caught me singing ‘Peter Pan‘ at the top of my lungs, recorded it on her iPhone, and posted it on social media and Kelsea saw the post and thought it was hilarious. I would hope I’d have the opportunity to win her over because she may not want to sing with me based on that performance.”

Jamie: “I have and will always be a Bryan White fan. It would be an absolute honor and a ‘full circle’ moment in my life if I ever had his voice harmonizing with mine. Why, can you make that happen? Haha”  

What do you do for inspiration when you sit down to write a song and it seems that nothing wants to come out? 

“The best thing you can do in those situations is just start talking. Life, your day, what you’re currently watching on Netflix… Just talk and get the mind going. You’d be surprised how many songs we’ve stumbled onto by just talking like we would while hanging out with friends.”

What are the plans for the future – any upcoming tours? 

“Obviously playing live is our favorite thing to do in the world. We’re putting the finishing touches on the rest of the songs on the album, getting them mixed, and will be booking as many shows as we can. Don’t let yourself be surprised if we decide to release another song (or songs) off the album before the year is out. You just never know.”

If you were driving cross-country and could only bring one CD, what would it be? 

“We both would actually agree on this one. John Mayer’s Continuum. When you’re talking about music to listen to when driving long distances, that album has it all. We’re leaving for VA this weekend for a family wedding and you can guarantee that it will be the first album we play once we get in the listening mood.”

Three words that describe you? 

Brandon: “funny, productive, dependable.”  

Jamie: “optimist, peacekeeper, kindhearted.”

When you are not touring, what do you like to do for fun? 

Brandon: “I really enjoy hanging out with our friends that we sometimes go weeks or months without seeing when we’re really busy. I also love playing tennis. The leagues & tournaments I play in are super competitive and it doesn’t feel like exercise until the next morning.”  

Jamie: “I’m lucky that I have some amazing friends that just happen to have swimming pools. Haha! One of my favorite things is having a glass of wine, maybe a little cheese plate, and just catching up with my friends.” 

Last show you binge-watched? 

“Although there are several shows that we watch on Netflix on a regular basis, I don’t think we’ve ever plowed through a season like we did with Stranger Things. We can’t WAIT for season 2 to come out this month!”

Favorite item of clothing? 

Brandon: “I’m a sucker for flip flops, a comfy pair of jeans, t-shirt and a nice worn in hat. Keepin’ it simple.”

Jamie: “Yoga pants and a couple of layers of tanks or t-shirts is my go-to whenever I can get away with it.” 

What’s the best way for fans to connect with you? 

“We try our absolute best to stay in touch with everyone’s comments on FB, Instagram, and Twitter. If you reach out to us on one of those platforms, there’s a really good chance to you’ll hear back from us!” 

Fan Dustin Burton from Columbus, Ohio, shares his take on the duo’s latest song.

“I absolutely love ‘Detonate‘ by Two Story Road! Their vocals blend so well together, especially on this song. Their sound on this song is very new and fresh. I am looking forward to watching people fall in love with this new country duo. The sound of ‘Detonate’ really gets me on this song – Brandon and Jamelle’s harmonies are perfection! True perfection! The lyrics are important, they talk about how important it is to live life to the fullest before it’s over. Enjoy being with the one who is most important to you in life.”

Author: Donna Block

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