The Tuten Brothers (Walker and Sam Tuten) are a duo from Athens, Georgia that blend classic country with a little rock ‘n roll. We sat down with the brothers to chat Nashville, faith and what’s in store for their music.
Nashville Noise: How did you first realize your talents worked together?
Sam: Both Walker and I grew up playing music. I started playing drums and Walker has always played guitar… Even though we both grew up playing we didn’t play together that often. We were both in church bands through middle and high school. It wasn’t until we started the band that we realized we meshed so well musically… When we’re in the studio or mixing songs, we almost always have the exact same vision and feedback. Our voices also work really well together, Walker has a higher range and I have a slightly lower one. I think that really gives us the chance to do some diverse and cool stuff with our songs and harmonies.
People describe your music as country with a rock ‘n roll twist. How do you describe it?
Walker: Well we grew up on both country and rock ‘n roll so it’s hard for us to stray too far from either sound. We think of our sound as a triangle of the Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, and Needtobreathe — and hopefully, we land in the middle! You could also call it country with some soul, rock n’ roll. We want that to be our sound because it’s honest for us. That’s who we are and that’s the music we love.
Your first single made a big splash locally — and now on Spotify (200K streams). How did it feel to have that kind of response for your very first single, “Southern Sunrise”?
S: It was pretty shocking honestly! Not because we don’t believe in our music, but more because that was literally our first try at making recorded original music together. We got together in our cousin’s spare bedroom and just went for it. Our cousin did an incredible job producing the song and spent a ton of time on it. The most amazing part was, and still is, playing shows where people would sing along with “Southern Sunrise.” That will never get old.
After that, you came to Nashville. How did this city inspire you musically?
W: Nashville is so inspiring and so overwhelming at the same time. We started to realize just how many unbelievably talented musicians there are and how much goes into making great music. That pushes us each day to write better songs, improve as singers, performers and musicians. More than anything, Nashville inspired us to figure out what kind of music we love to make and to be ourselves. It doesn’t work when we try to be anything other than “us.”
You released your newest single, “Hallelujah.” How does it feel being so open and honest about your faith in your music?
S: Our faith in Jesus and relationship with him is the greatest and most important aspect of both mine and Walker’s life. Our faith naturally comes through in our music because it’s so important to us. We want to write songs that are authentic and true, and that’s just who we are. However, it’s always a little scary being vulnerable, but that’s just part of songwriting. We have received a lot of positive feedback from fans of ways that this song has really impacted them which has been really rewarding for us.
Have any fans reached out with stories about how the music has personally affected them?
S: These are some of our favorite moments. There have been stories of people being encouraged by “Hallelujah” to students listening to “Southern Sunrise” before all of their exams — I’m told this guarantees passing a class… to dad’s calling “Lonesome Traveler” “badass”… One of our friends took his wife on their first date to one of our shows. Their first dance was one of the songs we played that night. These moments are so cool and sometimes really funny to us but we love that we can make some sort of positive impact on people’s daily lives through our music.
Lastly, what are some of your 2018 goals for your music?
W: The main goal is to get better everyday. We are pushing ourselves as songwriters, performers, singers, musicians, businessmen… I would say some tangible goals are to release another single, record some songs over the summer, continue to book shows and festivals and to expand our fanbase. I think the main goal over anything else is to really focus on putting out great music, and we believe the rest will fall in line with that.
Download The Tuten Brothers’ EP by clicking on the image below and stay tuned for more new music from the band. They have a new single coming soon!