Country-brother duo, Smith & Wesley premiere “Under It With You Tonight” ahead of their third studio album, Greetings from the Land of Y’all, today on American Songwriter.
“We had an idea of sitting out all night under the stars, and then we were like, what about the moon?” Scott Smith remembers writing the song with his brother, Todd, and Evan Kennedy. Like much of the album, they penned “Under It With You” somewhere between their tour bus seat and their cabin hideout in southeastern Tennessee, a haven and half-way point between Nashville and their North Georgia home.
The duo began thinking about the many moon-centric songs from influential artists such as Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” or Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon.” Drawing on that influence, the Smith brothers entered the studio with Shayne Hill and Cody Carver. Their producers’ helped bring this anthem to life, striking the perfect balance between traditional Nitty Gritty country and a more modern sounding song.
“We’re brothers,” Scott reiterated. “So our family harmonies are really tight. It’s hard to beat that kind of harmony.”
Their rural upbringing, miles from neighbors or other playmates, set the tone early on that the two bothers, only eighteen months apart, would need to get along. Scott and Todd attended college together, where they opted to be roommates and joined the same fraternity.
“It’s not uncommon for us to come back from being on the road, get up with our friends, and head back up to the cabin or go fishing together,” the brothers say. “We spend all of our time together, and it’s worked out well. We’re not going to lie to you and say there aren’t debates sometimes. But we’ve always come back around to blood. You know, blood is thicker than anything else.”
After college, Todd played in his own group, Herringbone, while Scott joined the Brody Johnson Band. Todd’s guest performances developed into a full-time role fronting the band with Scott. When the band opened for Alan Jackson at a concert close to home, they were approached about their first record deal. Their father, Wes Smith, came out to support them, witnessing a pivotal moment in his sons’ career before he passed away two weeks later.
Quickly outgrowing their record deal, Scott and Todd made a go of it, honoring their late father in their band name.
Smith & Wesley wrote five out of the twelve tracks on their upcoming album, a shift from the usual route. They were involved in writing every track for 2017’s Choices and Chances and 2018’s For Better or For Worse. However, for Greetings from the Land of Y’all, the duo opened up the songwriting process to include outside writers. The title track, “Land of Y’all,” written by Bernie Nelson and Phil O’Donnell, is the duo’s latest single climbing the charts at country radio.
“I am very excited about the progression and trajectory that we have been blessed with as artists,” explains Scott Smith. “Although we have typically written all the songs for the previous albums, it was exciting to invite other talented songwriters into the development of this project. We look forward to releasing new music to our fans and hope to see them out on the road all across this great nation soon.”
Listen exclusively to “Under It With You Tonight” ahead of Greetings from the Land of Y’all, out tomorrow via BFD / Audium Nashville.