It’s the biggest weekend of the summer! It’s Farley Fest 2019, and the Swon Brothers open for Tyler Farr at the country concert on Saturday night, August 3.Tickets are still available from the Milbank Area Chamber. Click here to get yours now:
The Swon Brothers, CMA Vocal Duo of the Year nominees for 2014, were also one of the top-three winners from Season Four of The Voice. Laurie Folk, director of the Milbank Chamber, which sponsors the concert, says, “The Swon Brothers were also selected because they have a background in farming, hunting, and fishing. They love the outdoors.”
According to their publicist, “There really must be something in the water. Oklahoma has produced more country greats per capita than anywhere on earth – Reba, Blake, Vince, Garth, and Toby all hail from the Sooner state. Zach and Colton Swon grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma right down the street from American Idol champ-turned-country-superstar Carrie Underwood. The three shared a stage many times while they were growing up.
“As soon as we were old enough to talk,” Zach says, “We traveled with our parents every weekend playing churches. Ever since we were babies, we’ve been on the bus, hearing music, and watching musicians. I played instruments earlier than Colton; he was the singer. I started out on drums at age three, and by the time I was nine, I was playing drums in the band.”
“I feel really blessed to be a musician because I’ve never taken any lessons,” Zach says. “Drums, I just picked up naturally. I got a chance to watch a lot of good players, and they all showed me stuff.”
After leaving the road, their parents formed a family-style variety show. Colton says “We had to learn everything from Sinatra to Michael Jackson. But of course, country was our favorite. Zach also loved Elvis, so he dressed up in a suit and wig and did his Elvis impersonation.”
The Swons’ shows were soon filling to capacity, and their weekly performances proved to be great training when they became contestants on NBC’s hit talent competition, The Voice. After trying out for the show in 2013, the siblings became instant fan favorites known not only for their music, but also for their fun-loving and hilarious brotherly banter.
With help from their American Idol judge, Blake Shelton, the Swons were selected as one of three finalists. Fans also witnessed the Swons debut their groove-filled opening single, Later On, during a triumphant return to The Voice. The performance propelled the song to the top of the iTunes country singles chart within 24 hours.
The Swon Brothers songs feature fun-filled, energetic sing-alongs like Later On and What I’m Thinking About, but also laid-back, dirt-road, classic country heart-wrenchers like Chasing You Around and Same Old Highway. Both songs show how the Eagles were the duo’s biggest musical influence. At the other end of the spectrum you find high-energy up-tempos like 95 – an ode to the fun side of weathering a heat wave.
About the song, This Side of Heaven, Zach says, “It’s rare that a song grabs me on first listen, but that one just stuck in my head immediately. It’s such a sad song, but it’s so uplifting, too. I think it’s one of the most well-written songs I’ve ever heard.”
Though they both carve out time to write, Songs That Said It All, was created by a chance meeting at – you guessed it – an Eagles concert. “My brother ran into Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum at an Eagles concert in Nashville, and Charles was kind enough to say, ‘Hey, let’s get together and write,’” recalls Colton. “We exchanged numbers and wrote the song with him and Dave Haywood (also of Lady Antebellum) the next week.”
In their choice of songs, the brothers say they also set out to make albums that will endure. “We want to make records that we would want to hear years from now,” Colton says. Zach adds, “Ultimately, we make something we are proud to call ‘us.’”
Tickets to the Tyler Farr – Swon Brothers concert at Farley Fest 2019 are on sale now for $37 – bring your own chair. VIP tickets are $82 and include: access to the front of the stage, early entry, food, air conditioned bathrooms, optional chairs, and two drink tickets. See you there!