While in search of your dreams, those who go the distance often find themselves at crossroads after crossroads, where one must either go left, go right, or simply turn back and return to square one.
For The DuPont Brothers, it’s about an unrelenting work ethic day-in-and-day-out to get to where they need to go, which is a stable artistic lifestyle that’s not only financial stable, but also creatively bountiful.
And through their three or so years together, brothers Zack and Sam have taken their Burlington, Vermont-based Americana/folk act up and down the Eastern Seaboard. From small town back alley bars to large cosmopolitan stages, and seemingly every spot in-between, the duo had a game plan from the start — keep playing, keep pushing, all while never forgetting that every single night is a chance for melodic beauty.
It’s about original, honest wordplay floating over finely tuned finger picking, an ambiance created with such ease and comfort while in their presence. It’s a formula that continually brings the siblings to the next crossroads, another intersection on the journey of life that they not only are willing to take a chance on, but also are armed with the talents and vigor of those destined for greatness.
Garret K. Woodward: You have a new record out, “A Riddle For You.”
Zack DuPont: The album was the collaboration between us, our producer Michael Chorney, and a handpicked cast of Vermont musicians. All of these different brains and tastes really shaped the sound of the record and presented the songs in a way that we just couldn’t have found on our own. Michael was such a huge influence in shaping the sonic character of the album. We trust and respect him deeply as a musician, producer and songwriter and that made for a very strong platform to get the songs the attention they needed to reach their potential. “A Riddle For You” preserves the vulnerability of our duo roots and enhances it with other voices within the music. It’s a very steady evolution of our sound, not a 180 by any means. Collaboration with other musicians is a newly discovered tool for us and we’re not looking back for now. We’re touring with a bigger sound and more band members and it feels fresher than ever.
GKW: Is there a central theme with the record?
Sam DuPont: It’s a pretty broad album as far as ideas and concepts go. The tunes cover a wide range of topics touching on relationship tensions, homage to family and friends, to finding our place in the music industry. These songs are very much a result of us experiencing the same reality together on and off the road. That time had a way of bringing us right back down to earth and will continue to do so for years to come. When we listen to the record we’re just proud to be where we are. The album tells our story as a growing independent act from a neutral and raw perspective.
GKW: The DuPont Brothers. It’s a viable thing these days, from humble beginnings to a trustworthy workhorse these days. How has the focus of the group shifted or evolved?
ZD: When we first started out, we just hit the road to play any and every show we could. There’s nothing better than repetition with close observations for a young band. You have to let your guard down to get better at what your doing and be open to asking yourself questions that you might not like the answers to at first. Egos aside, the songs, albums and performances are pieces of work, and as such need to be fine tuned to reach their potential. I think that refined awareness of what we’re doing and how we’re presenting it has created a much more interesting live show and record. There’s more tension and release in the tunes. More risks and energy, and our audiences are feeling it with us. It’s a very exciting time.
GKW: What have you learned by taking The DuPont Brothers on the road nonstop seemingly for the last few years? What are you learning about achieving your dreams as musicians in modern day 21st century America?
ZD: You hope to see growth within the act as artists and human beings when touring as much as we have been. When I say growth, I mean real growth — the kind that usually surfaces through trials and tribulations. True tests of character, both personal and musical, coupled with evolution, are within the art. Life on the road as an independent band is a wondrous and humbling existence. The more time we spend building this group the more we realize that longevity and the preservation of our artistic vision is key. There’s a freedom within this path that fodders the innocence of creativity in our youthful spirits. That fascination has to be appropriately nurtured along the way to keep the songs fresh and motivations pure.
Want to go?
Americana/folk act The DuPont Brothers will be performing at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at The Strand at 38 Main in Waynesville. They will also play at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at The Altamont Theatre in Asheville. For more information on the band, tickets, or to purchase their new album, click on www.dupontbrothersmusic.com or www.38main.com or www.thealtamont.com.
1 The 7th annual “Concerts on the Creek” series will host Whitewater Bluegrass Company (Americana/bluegrass) 7 p.m. Friday, June 17, at the Bridge Park Pavilion in Sylva.
2 The Taste of Scotland & Celtic Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 17-18 in downtown Franklin.
3 The Kelsey-Hutchinson Park “Low Country Shrimp Boil” will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the park in Highlands.
4 Renowned bluegrass band Mountain Faith will perform from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Bloemsma Barn in Franklin.
5 The Front Street Arts & Crafts Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 18, in downtown Dillsboro.