Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
30A Songwriter’s Festival alum, Towne to return to Seaside Rep April 20th. Learn more and get tickets at: http://lovetherep.com/
This Nashville-based powerhouse duo consists of Pennsylvania bred, music theater geek Steevie Steeves and straight-from-Kentucky, former bassist for punk-rock band, The Pink Spiders, Jon Decious. The two talents unexpectedly crossed paths at Skip Ewing’s Horse and Writer Seminar in Wyoming where they immediately connected musically. Not long after they met, they realized they both lived behind the liquor store on 8th in the heart of Music City, yet they had to travel thousands of miles to find out they were meant to make music together.
When they began writing together, TOWNE’s sound started taking shape. The power and passion behind their harmonies and lyrics was incomparable to anything they had experienced as musicians. Although Steeves and Decious have traveled two different paths, the forks in their roads eventually had them heading in the same direction.
Diverse backgrounds in life and music could have taken Towne’s Steevie Steeves and Jon Decious in two very different directions. Instead, their love of songwriting allowed for their paths to cross. “Jon was a breath of fresh air. We were two peas in a pod. We’re really fortunate to have developed the friendship we have. We definitely have each other’s backs,” says Steeves. Their stylistic collision has resulted in Towne’s unconventional sound – demonstrated in the duo’s upcoming releases. “His punk country mixed with my pop soulness is a very interesting dynamic, and it is what it is. It’s definitely different.”
With Steeves from Pennsylvania and Decious from Tennessee by way of Kentucky, the two came from vastly different musical backgrounds – the only similarity being their affinity for the art form itself. “I was in a punk rock band called the Pink Spiders when I was younger,” says Decious. Though successful (the band found a spot on the Geffen Records roster), Decious found his more natural placement in country band Dixie Whiskey alongside friends and fellow musicians Kelby Ray Caldwell (Cadillac Three), Dillon Napier (drummer, Margo Price) and artist Caitlin Rose. “Everyone was like, ‘well, if we want to start a band, we have to write songs.’ We wound up writing an EP, which was written up by the Nashville Scene as one of the best releases in Nashville that year along with Paramore and Kings of Leon… None of it was remotely planned.” With that, Decious found a new love in songwriting.
For Steeves, music was an essential. “I was always trying to write music. It was a really fun, cool thing to do,” says Steeves. “I was a really shy person when I was little. If I sang, it was my form of communication. I never really expressed feelings, but anything that had music behind it helped me flourish a little bit.” In high school, she found further passion in musical theater. “I was obsessed with it.” After high school, Steeves bypassed college to join a band. Realizing a music career in her native Pennsylvania could only take her so far, she made the move to Nashville. “I had a huge fire lit under my ass – I came to Nashville with a purpose. I started writing right off the bat. I waitressed, and sang demos for money.”
Though each had a successful run at music independent of the other, their partnership began rather serendipitously when both got scholarships to Skip Ewing’s Horse and Writer songwriting camp in Wyoming. “I’d written with a few guys back in Nashville that had encouraged me to apply for Skip’s writing seminar… I met Jon, and I liked him right off the bat,” says Steeves. They crossed paths quickly progressed into a partnership driven by a powerful musical connection. “We quickly realized we lived across the street from each other in Nashville. We began writing and performing together, and here we are,” says Decious.
Their difference in musical background lead to a sound that lends itself to several genres. “When I think of great songwriters, I think Rodgers and Hammerstein, or Andrew Lloyd Webber,” says Steeves. “I think more about the great country songwriters,” says Decious. Sonically, Towne offers a sound that can only be described as a harmonious blend of alternative, folk and pop. Steeves’ powerfully raw lead vocals are balanced by Decious’ smooth and steady harmonies.
The upcoming releases are just the start of the sound’s unveiling – a preview of their forthcoming EP. “You get the New York Broadway and back roads country,” says Steeves. “That’s why we’re called Towne. We came from two different places, different musical backgrounds. But we meet in the middle. We’re both songwriters with very different influences.” And with confidence in sound and a name to fit the bill, Steeves and Decious have never been more secure in their path moving forward. “Everything I’ve done has prepared me to be in a band with Jon, and headed where we’re headed,” says Steeves. “All of my experiences have prepared me for this.”
It’s out now, the Audacious EP, we would’t been able to do it without you #townefolk.