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Nashville’s next big thing

Darby, a small town outside Dade City, may know Jesse and Noah Bellamy by their faces. Nashville is beginning to know their names. And Friday, Tampa can meet them in person. Brothers Jesse and Noah, local vocalists and guitar players rocking in the footsteps of their country-star dad, will be playing at 8 p.m. at Skipper’s Smokehouse.

“We both grew up around music,” said Jesse, 26, whose father is a musician in the famous country music duo The Bellamy Brothers. “Our dad was and is in the business. It just kind of came natural.”

Jesse and Noah, 25, currently live in Nashville and have been playing music and singing for years. They moved from Dade City in 2002 to advance their careers.

“As soon as I was able to put my fingers down on the frets (of my guitar) and make some noise, I wanted to do it,” Jesse said.

“I figured out I couldn’t do anything else,” said Noah.

The pair attended Pasco High School. It was during Jesse and Noah’s high school years that the brothers realized that each had a knack for complementing the musical talents of the other.

“We had our little rock band then,” said Noah.

“That was more the focus for us than any sort of extracurricular school activity. It just kind of became the two of us working together,” Jesse said. “It evolved more as a duo than a band at that point.”

Influenced by such artists as Van Morrison and Bob Dylan, the duo has developed a diverse sound.

“It’s a conglomeration of all the things we like. Some of the instrumentation can lean toward country while some of the rhythms can be a little more funky,” said Jesse. “Songwriting-wise, it’s based in country and blues and rock ‘n’ roll. The musical influence can be anywhere from jazz to rock and blues and country. We just try and mix it up,” he said.

“It’s honest stuff,” Noah added.

After Jesse and Noah finished high school, they attended the USF for a few semesters each and continued to hone their craft. They independently released an album in 2001. As the pair continued to progress, they deemed it in their best musical interest to relocate to Nashville.

“There’s a limited music scene in Florida, especially for what we do,” Jesse said. “In order to keep evolving, we decided to move up here.”

Jesse and Noah have performed at such venues as CBGB in New York, Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Nashville and Antone’s in Austin, opening for such acts as the Bellamy Brothers, the Mavericks and Asleep at the Wheel. Both Jesse and Noah agree that of all of the venues they have played, Skipper’s Smokehouse is a favorite, which is why the duo is especially looking forward to Friday’s show.

Jesse said that it has been three years since the duo has played at Skipper’s, located at the intersection of Nebraska Avenue and Skipper Road.

“It was always one of our favorite venues,” Jesse said. “We always did really well at Skipper’s. We always packed in really big crowds. We’re looking forward to doing that and seeing some old friends.”

Noah agreed.

“It’ll be good to be back there.”