They cut their teeth on rock and pop and learned a lot from the blues.
But Sam and Luke – the U.S.-based act who spent their formative years in White Rock – feel they’ve really hit their stride since they moved to Nashville and realigned themselves as country-rock artists.
The two Remedios brothers, Sam, 21, and Luke, 18, are releasing a new five-song EP, Helpless, next Monday on iTunes.
And although they’re rapidly becoming seasoned performers in Music City, they’re still glad their Semiahmoo Peninsula fan base remembers them – and, they hasten to add, they haven’t forgotten their earliest supporters either.
Their strong, clean vocal harmonies, solos and guitar licks clearly suit an upbeat country sound, but they prove they’ve still retained a rocking edge with such new songs as Burning.
Helpless includes two of the brothers’ own compositions – the title tune and Smart Enough To Stay – plus three that were pitched to them by some of Nashville’s biggest hit-makers.
And that’s a new experience for the brothers, both of whom attended White Rock Elementary and graduated from Earl Marriott Secondary.
“It’s really, really cool,” said Luke in a conference call from Nashville. “We’ve not been familiar with that in the past, and it’s really honouring that other people would let us record their songs.”
“When we were first pitched the songs it was early winter,” Sam added. “It was like early Christmas presents to have all these songs to audition with our producer Tom Hambridge.”
They’ve settled in well since moving to Nashville, after having some good initial showcase experiences there, they said.
“We’ve been here 13 months now and we’ve played over 120 shows,” said Luke.
“It’s averaged out to something like three or four shows a week,” said Sam, who adds it has been an education playing with high-calibre Nashville session players.
“It’s been a fantastic experience – we’ve grown a lot.”
When they first hit town, Luke noted, they were playing a lot of open-mic situations, where they would be lucky to wedge a short set late in the evening.
“Now, people are inviting us to play shows – we’re actually turning down shows,” Sam said.
“We’ve got some great things on the horizon that we can’t talk about yet,” said Luke.
In the meantime, they’re both enthused about a new campaign of school concerts they’re about to launch in Nashville, in which they have been commissioned to perform for students as a reward for fundraising efforts on behalf of local food banks.
They still retain strong ties with White Rock and South Surrey fans, they said.
Their fan base also seems to have survived their increasingly country orientation, they said.
“The feedback seems to be all positive,” said Luke.
For more on Sam and Luke, and their new EP, visit their website: www.samandluke.com