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The Everly Brothers Tribute

By Ed Payne

Ed recorded “The Everly Brothers Tribute” in 2012. It was his first full tribute album. He took on the project because he always loved their harmonies and it was a chance for him to be both Don and Phil Everly on every song. Also he already knew several Everly Brothers songs so only had to learn a half a dozen more to fill out the album.

“I love doing the harmonies (Phil’s parts) even more than the lead vocals,” Ed explained. “I love to sing, and harmonies add so much additional texture, depth and fullness!”

Ed knew it would be a fun project because he’s been a fan for nearly 50 years, and when he did the album, they were both in their 70s and he was in his 60s when he started recording this album. Now, younger brother Phil passed away nearly 4 years ago in January 2014 and Don recently turned 80. “It was the right time to do my tribute to them!”

“My hours in the studio with Clay Smith are always a joy, but on this project the other great joy was learning to play and sing a bunch more of my favorite Everly Brothers’ songs, including learning and singing both vocal parts,” Ed wrote in the album notes. “This one has been fun and we hope you enjoy!”

The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo. Their music is characterized by their close (diatonic thirds) harmonies and steel-string acoustic guitar. They were born into a musical family and performed with their parents as kids on the radio. While the brothers were still in high school, they caught the attention of Chet Atkins and eventually moved to Nashville where they began cranking out hits that topped the charts next to Elvis.

Their music heavily influenced the Beatles early songwriting, and Paul Simon called them “the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard… they were a part of the birth of rock and roll…”