Country music duo, Wilson Fairchild, isn’t running from the roots of their upbringing or their loyal fanbase with their new albumÂ Songs Our Dads Wrote, which will hit stores on February 7. In the midst of their hectic schedule, Langdon Reid sat down with usÂ to find out more about their latest album, musical upbringing, and what it’s like being a duo.
Hey guys, great album! There is definitely a traditional country/roots feel. How did this album idea of honoring your fathers, Harold and Don Reid, both founding members of the legendary quartet, The Statler Brothers come about?
The idea for this type of tribute CD has been in our minds for a long time. We obviously grew up listening to the Statlers, much like the rest of the world. We learned to sing with their albums, play guitars to their songs, and watch them write those story songs and understand when and why the harmonies come in. They were not only our musical heroes, they were our teachers. We wrote â€œThe Statler Brothers Song,â€ (which is the final cut on the album), when they were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame and sang it for them at both medallion ceremonies. It was a joy, challenge, and honor to finally write our own Statler Brothers song and sing it to them while they sat in the front row of the Ford Theater in the Hall of Fame. There were a lot of tears and chills that night! The short of it is, that the music, which is ultimately their music, is so much a part of us that we couldnâ€™t not do this album.
Of the nine tracks originally co-written by Harold and Don Reid, what was your favorite to record?
What an unfair question! Actually, we really enjoyed the approach we took to each song, more of a natural and rootsy approach, which we definitely wanted to do in order to showcase the true writing of the lyrics and to present the songs to the listener much the way they would have been heard after they were written: just a singer and a guitar. Two things definitely stand out in the making of the record: when we were listening back to the song â€œGuilty,â€ one of us said, â€œIt would be awesome if Jimmy Fortune would come in and sing the third part on this one.â€ I swear it seemed that before we finished asking the questions, Jimmy was on his way over to the studio! He was as excited to be asked as we were to ask him. He came in and in one take, just knocked it out of the park. Just like he always does! Also, our producer on this CD is the multi-gifted Gordon Kennedy. Gordon drips with talent, and also comes from country music royalty. His dad is Jerry Kennedy, who produced and played the signature dobro guitar on all those memorable records for 35+ years. We just had to have that dobro guitar somewhere on here. So Gordon asked Jerry, who is solidly retired from any musical appearances, to come and leave a few licks on this CD. Jerry said he wouldnâ€™t do it for anybody else! So Gordon went to the musicianâ€™s Hall of Fame and checked it out, next he brought it to the studio and the man himself left us a few licks that we treasure just as much as all those licks he left for all of us all of those years! What a treat!
Both of you were raised around music. Did you begin performing at an early age? When did your interest in music begin?
We grew up with plenty of music around us, from the concerts, to radio, to church. We booked ourselves in a couple of high school talent shows for some exposure and then booked our first paying gig about 20 min up the road for a Birthday party. I hate to know what we sounded like, but I do know that we got bit by a bug and we never looked back.
Who are your musical influences?
Honestly, the day isnâ€™t long enough to list our influences, mainly because we felt influenced by many different artists for different reasons. Singing and when it came to harmonies, we loved listening to the old southern gospel quartet singing. Gospel music can brag that they have some of the best outright singers ever. When we started playing the guitars, we paid real close attention to guys like Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, Chet Adkins, Jerry Reed, and Albert Lee. As we started to sharpen our pencil to attempt to write songs, we were blown away with people like Roger Miller, and Kristofferson, Cash and Bob McDill. But we loved the 70â€™s funky grooving sound of Elvis and his band while at the same time hearing all the rock songs from the 80â€™s coming from the stereos from our older siblings. We were either extremely influenced or extremely confused! But we always came back to listening to the performances and productions of songs and how they were sung with people like Gene Watson, Ronnie Milsap and Tammy Wynette. There are not too many songs and artists we donâ€™t know and didnâ€™t listen to, and even if it was an artist or song that we didnâ€™t particularly care for, we still took something away from their music to help mold our mind. And the fact that I said that we â€œwereâ€ influenced by these wonderful people, let it remain that we still â€œareâ€ influenced by them still today. God bless them all!
What are the greatest problems you face working together all of the time?
We like to say that we are cousins but we fight like brothers. Actually, we have done so much with each other (playing baseball, riding four-wheelers, church shut-ins, to chasing girls) for most of our lives, we really do enjoy our time together and thankfully (knock on wood) do not encounter too many problems. We are brutally honest with each other, which friends need to be in order to have a healthy relationship, so we feel this keeps the problems to a minimum.
Have you written many songs for other country artists?
We have been blessed to have some cuts by other artists. The Statler Brothers recorded the first song we ever wrote together, â€œWhat We Love To Do,â€ and they released it as a single and recorded a video for it. From then on, between the two of us, we have some 30+ songs recorded by them. The incredible bluegrass duo, Dailey & Vincent, have recorded some of our songs. We actually have a cut on their next CD coming out this spring. Ricky Skaggs recorded a song we wrote with our friends, Gordon Kennedy, on his Grammy-nominated CDÂ Mosaic. The writing has always been something that is dear to us and again, we thank our dads for never giving us a break in this department and making us work hard to get the best song possible that lives inside us.
You guys are going to be appearing on the legendaryÂ MidniteÂ Jamboree onÂ February 25, hosted by the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. What can we expect in the set?
Weâ€™ve hosted theÂ MidniteÂ Jamboree a few times before in the past and itâ€™s always a blast to do. So cool to be a part of this ongoing country music tradition. Musically, you can expect to hear a good portion of the songs on this latest project. Our plan right now is that it will be just the two of us and our guitars to recreate live the songs on the CD. Overall, when you give us a live mic and a fun audience, you never know what to expect! Better come and find out!
Whatâ€™s new other than the album?
Lately weâ€™ve been focused on the release of this music and very excited and overwhelmed with the reaction and reviews weâ€™ve received from it. Currently, weâ€™ve booked some dates for the year including a Christmas show this year. We played this show last year and had such a good time with it, we want to play it as many places as we can. And we will be headlining a 2-day celebration in our hometown, Staunton, VA this year onÂ July 3 and 4. For 25 years (1970-1994), the Statlers hosted this event in our small hometown and it grew crowds and friends of over 100,000. The event has since continued but we felt it was time for us to breathe some new life into it and help to bring back some of the things that made it such a success and a fun time for our town and all the people that attended for those years. Itâ€™s about community and charity and a fun-filled family event for 2 days to celebrate American. We are really looking forward to this!
Continued success you two on the new album and the career!
ABOUT WILSON FAIRCHILD:
Wilson Fairchild is a country music duo made up of Wil and Langdon Reid from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. These two men, referred to as â€œthe Reid boys,â€ have been writing, performing and playing music together their whole lives. To sum up their passion and drive for their music and career, a self-penned line from their new title cut, â€œCountry Onâ€, says it all: â€œWe love country music and weâ€™ll never let it die.â€
Wil and Langdon are highly acclaimed songwriters. They both have been writing songs since their teenage years, in between baseball and football games and girls, of course. Along with recording their own music, such artists as the Statler Brothers, Ricky Skaggs and Dailey & Vincent have recorded their songs, as well. So yes, that means their songwriting gamut spans through the country, bluegrass, and gospel fields. They learned the craft from the best and know how to put an idea to music and come away with a great storytelling song.
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