Forming The Common Linnets, Ilse DeLange and Waylon are two exceptional artists who have joined forces to work on a new album and to represent their country at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with the song Calm After The Storm. In fact, the two recently travelled to Nashville, Tennesee in order to prepare for this honour.
The Common Linnets
The Common Linnets is a Dutch dream team consisting of Ilse DeLange and Waylon. These two singer-songwriter stars have together found a new and exciting challenge in expressing their love for country music.
Ilse and Waylon have known each other since they were teenagers, when they both played the country music circuit in Holland. Right from the beginning they shared a love for country and related genres like bluegrass, folk and Americana. But most of all they shared a passion for true, stripped-down songs that convey pure emotion. That passion led to the formation of The Common Linnets.
The “common linnet” is a songbird that breeds on the heaths in the eastern part of The Netherlands. For Ilse and Waylon, who both hail from that part of the country, this unassuming little bird with its wonderful song is the perfect symbol of what they’re aiming for with their songs.
When Ilse DeLange came up with the idea for ‘The Common Linnets’ as a side project, involving different artists each time, Waylon topped the list of musicians she wanted to work with. Both of them immediately agreed upon a rootsy approach. Their mission-statement was clear: writing real country music, stripped of all unnecessary trappings, and inspired by such greats as Emmylou Harris and Johnny Cash, but also West coast stars like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and James Taylor.
The idea was to make an album .....composing and recording it together.
Writing brought Ilse and Waylon to the Belgian Ardennes and to Nashville, the epicenter of country music, where both Ilse and Waylon feel very much at home. American songwriters Rob Crosby, Matthew Crosby and Jake Etheridge soon came on board, after which Dutch singer-songwriter Daniel Lohues and Dutch producer JB Meijers rounded out the team. Ilse produced the album with JB Meijers.
Towards the end of last year the big story broke. During a press conference The Common Linnets announced they would represent The Netherlands for the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. The song they selected is Calm After The Storm, a restrained composition with a haunting melody that brings forth the question whether a relationship is still working or not. “It’s all about being sincere”, Ilse explained during the press conference. “Two voices, two guitars and then just pouring your heart out.” “It’s not about the clothes, rhinestones or dancers”, elaborated Waylon.
Friday, May 9, 2014 sees the release of the eponymous The Common Linnets album in The Netherlands. It consists of thirteen emotional songs that deal with hurt and misfortune, but also with hope, comfort and love. In their purity and sincerity, expressed in heavenly harmonies by two of the best singers in The Netherlands, these songs will be sure to melt even the
On Saturday the 21st of June The Common Linnets will host a new festival called Tuckerville, taking place at the stadium of Dutch soccer team FC Twente in Enschede. At Tuckerville, The Common Linnets will share the stage with several special guests, such as the popular Dutch group De Dijk.
Ilse Delange has been one of the most successful Dutch artists for the last fifteen years. Her debut album, World Of Hurt, went platinum five times and many other successes followed. Recently, she released an overview of her career titled, After The Hurricane - Greatest Hits & More, containing the hit song Blue Bittersweet (also the title track of the Dutch blockbuster movie The Dinner).
Waylon, who in 2008 got his big break on the TV-show Holland’s got Talent, was the first ever Dutchman to be signed by the Motown label. His debut album Wicked Ways achieved platinum status and in 2012 he was voted Best Male Singer at the 3FM Awards. Last summer he went to the United States to work on what he calls “my first real album”, which will be more personal and delving deeper into his broad musical inheritance than ever.
At the age of seventeen JB Meijers signed a record deal with Virgin records. In these early years he strongly profiled himself as an extremely talented and hardworking musician who was involved in various influential alternative pop bands (Charmin’ Children, Shine, Supersub), extensively toured with Eboman and at the same time he was producing and writing songs.
When in the late ‘90s his work as a producer was growing out of proportion JB decided to fully focus on his studio work. Only a year later he was asked to join two of the most successful Dutch bands - De Dijk and Acda & De Munnik - first just on stage but since 2000 JB is a solid touring and studio craft for both platinum selling acts.
Over the years JB has produced albums for some of the most import Dutch artists (Ramses Shaffy, Eboman, Souldiers, Go Back To The Zoo and Frank Boeijen), but also worked with international artists like Solomon Burke, Marc Ribot, Beastie Boys, Antony + Johnsons and many more.
JB Meijers was honored with every possible award in the Dutch music business and Music Magazine Oor proclaimed him second best musician in The Netherlands.
Rob Crosby began his music career in his home state of South Carolina, playing clubs and colleges, and building a regional following. After moving to Nashville he achieved national success by writing a #1 hit for Lee Greenwood, Holding a Good Hand.
Shortly thereafter Rob was signed by Arista Records as a recording artist. Rob scored three top ten hits and toured with Travis Tritt, Reba McEntire, Brooks and Dunn, Billy Ray Cyrus and performed shows across America, Europe, and Canada with Willie Nelson, George Jones, Restless Heart, Garth Brooks, and Dutch artist Ilse DeLange.
Brooks and Dunn, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Blackhawk, The Oak Ridge Boys, Carl Perkins and Paul Simon, Jeroen van der Boom, Ilse DeLange, Waylon, The Common Linnets and others have recorded over 50 of his songs.
Rob and Ilse have been working together of and on since they wrote ‘When We Don’t Talk’ for Ilse’s debut album in 1998.
Matthew Crosby grew up in Nashville and attended college in Charleston, South Carolina, where he formed his first band, and began playing his songs in local clubs. After graduating he moved to New York City, and was soon performing regularly around Manhattan and Brooklyn at such venues as Joe's Pub and Rockwood Music Hall. His band Easy Tells released their first record in 2012, and in 2013 he signed with Universal Music Publishing in Holland. His songs have recently been recorded by The Common Linnets.
Jake Etheridge began performing in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina where he achieved local recognition for his songwriting and performing. Moving to Nashville in 2011, he began to perform in well-known Nashville music rooms, including the storied Bluebird Cafe, and expanded his touring to cities such as Atlanta, Georgia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Boston and New York City. Obsessive about seeking out truth, Jake's songs explore the depths of his own heart, and unabashedly display an honest window into his motivations, victories and even self-inflicted pitfalls. His songs have been featured in films, and recorded by the The Common Linnets in The Netherlands.