Academy of Country Music Top Vocal Duo nominee Hometown News showcases harmony and unison vocals that recall the grand Country tradition of the Everly Brothers as well as pop superstars Simon & Garfunkel.
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Scott Whitehead and Ron Kingery make up Hometown News. These musical brothers planted the seeds for their sound in 1996 when they met at a Nashville songwriters night. Ron at the time was writing children songs and engineering albums for The Wonder Workshop. It was there that he met and provided his recording skills for Roy Clark on his “Roy Clark Sings and Plays Gospel Greats”, an album that garnered a Grammy nomination.
When Ron and Scott met, Scott had just arrived in Music City after eight years in the Navy flying the F/A-18 Hornet. Scott flew missions over North Iraq during the first Gulf War and is a graduate of the Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun). It wasn’t long after moving to Nashville that he landed a staff writer job for the legendary Acuff-Rose publishing company.
Together, Scott and Ron have a knack for writing, choosing and recording songs that speak to the way everyday people live their lives. Their self-produced debut CD “Wheels” and sophomore project “Hometown News” reflect the mid-America emotions of their upbringing. Ron and Scott spent younger years in rural Illinois and Missouri respectively where the small town lifestyle, along with Johnny Cash and Glenn Campbell records that could be found on their parents’ turntables shaped their musical tastes.
Another aspect these “brothers” share is they were both born on military bases, the sons of active duty members of the Armed Forces. It is the discipline instilled by their parents that in part drives their work ethic, and is arguably a factor in Hometown News being nominated for an ACM award less than a year after the release of the debut CD “Wheels” on independent label VFR Records.
Hometown News has gone on to secure a Ford Motor Company sponsorship, made its debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, completed a 34-day world tour of military bases, and sung the National Anthem and God Bless America at Game 6 of the 2004 National League Championship Series in St.Louis.
Ten of the fifteen cuts on the new self-titled CD on independent Quarterback Records were written by either Ron, Scott or both. When talking about the song selection, Scott says “This CD is an extension of the ‘Wheels’ album. All the songs pass the ‘grandmother test’...it’s earthy and honest.” On this new self-produced project, Ron and Scott played most of the instruments.
When looking at what their future may hold, the duo turns back to the way music inspired them when they were young. "I think it would be a neat thing 30 years down the road for some kid who's an up and coming singer to be doing an interview and say, 'You know, there were these two guys who were called Hometown News, and my Dad used to play that stuff all the time," says Ron. "We'd like to have something that might last a little and stand the test of time. That would be a great compliment".
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