There’s one thing that most musicians hope to accomplish.
It’s not the million-dollar deal. Nor is it a hit record or even a hit song.
Sure, those feats are nice. But what does it mean if no one knows your name five years later?
Indeed, musicians dream of longevity.
That’s exactly what the Bellamy Brothers have achieved. They play the Festival at Sandpoint on Sunday.
Howard and David Bellamy, who embarked on their career 20 years ago, have constructed a great formula for sticking around.
They’ve done it by diversifying their sound, trying new and different approaches and, essentially, creating music not bound by any genres.
“It’s a big thing with David and me not to sound like or write like anybody else,” said Howard Bellamy in a recent phone interview. “It’s one of the things that really bugs me today with what’s going on in country. It’s hard for me to tell one from the other these days.
“We’ve always tried to do something a little bit different to set us apart from other acts. And I think that’s probably why we’re still around.”
Whereas most country acts today feel content releasing something that’s rather ordinary and musically safe, the Bellamys strive to explore various styles on their albums.
Over the years, the Bellamy Brothers haven’t been shy about throwing in a cornucopia of noncountry arrangements, such as rock, pop, folk and reggae.
In doing this, they whipped up a multitude of hit singles. Many were hits on both the pop charts and the country charts. Some of the favorites include “Let Your Love Flow,” “If I Said You had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me,” “Redneck Girl,” “Reggae Cowboy” and “For All The Wrong Reasons.”
But playing by their own set of rules created some pitfalls.
With the current trend of country pop coming out of Nashville, square pegs like the Bellamy Brothers have been pushed aside, especially at record labels.
Undaunted, the two singers formed their own label, Bellamy Brothers Records, and have put out new Bellamy Brothers records since 1992.
It was a risky endeavor, but taking risks is nothing new to the harmonic singers. Plus, starting an independent label was just another way the Bellamys could maintain a presence in country music.
“It just freshened things up for us,” Howard said. “We put a lot of energy into what we’re doing and it’s really paid off. We’re selling more albums on our own label than we did on the last couple of ventures on the majors.”
Overseas, the Bellamy Brothers’ career is booming.
“It’s been really good, Europe especially,” Howard said. “I don’t know why. I think maybe we have a sound they can relate to and recognize.”
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Bellamy Brothers Location and time: Memorial Field in Sandpoint, Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $32.50 reserved, $24.15 general admission, $12.35 juniors.