The Hussey Brothers and the quest for Americana transcendence
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The Hussey Brothers and the quest for Americana transcendence

I like The Hussey Brothers and want them to go far. I think the entire music scene would be better if their Americana sound caught on and was heard coming out of middle-schoolers’ phones.

I say this despite NOT coming from their usual fan base, which is predominantly Christian and small-town. I’m only Christian if one has a glass of wine at the same time one reads The Sermon on the Mount and I’m on beyond urban.

Before seeing The Hussey Brothers July 3 free performance at Morton Park, the only other Americana band that I liked and followed was The Lumineers.

My center point for musical preference is probably Panic at the Disco, but I can get as hardcore as Seether or Hollywood Undead. Still, I like and recommend The Hussey Brothers, which speaks to its larger appeal.  And they will travel to you, 58 cents a mile from their base in Charleston, as long as you let them sell their merchandise at the venue.

The music has a purity and honesty that ties to their philosophy of life, art, and music:  “truth, beauty, and goodness,” which Sean Hussey says is the way to “transcendence.”  The Hussey Brothers are good company in this definition of “art,” following the poet John Keats among others.

So again the band is about positivity, but it won’t make you want to vomit from its sicky sweetness. It is too real for that.

Not surprisingly, they write a great deal about love and family. However, both might have grimaced, or maybe again it was just the light, when they answered negatively to my question if they considered themselves Christian rock. Still, they are about love and forgiveness, even if they understand anger and don’t negate its usefulness. Sean said, “Anger is good if it is about injustice that one wants to fight and correct. Negative anger is, however, about holding grudges, which causes pain and hardship.” And the songs they write and cover reflect this. Of their influences, John Denver might be the largest.

The elder Quinn is, according to Sean, the more creative of the brothers, the one to have the ideas that spark the songs that make traditional small-town values feel genuine to even a former SoCal punk, disgruntled poet like me.

Quinn (pictured above) says he is directly inspired by those around him, as exemplified by the lovely ballad, to his now wife, “Ohio. ” As might be their hallmark, The Hussey Brothers take something that might seem as banal as the state of “Ohio,” but end up talking about love itself, so it will echo in your soul, or at least it did mine.

However, Sean was the original musician. And Sean for good or for bad, and I think good, started out like any other kid, and just wanted to be a middle-school rock star. Now over a decade later, and after stepping away from music for other ventures, such as college, both are back with the support of their wives and large extended family ready to light up your back yard, garage, or banquet hall.

Photos by Luke Hearn


Written by Silver Damsen

Silver Damsen grew up in Southern California and attended University of California, Riverside and California State University, Long Beach. She received a PhD in English literature from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She currently lives in Charleston, Illinois. Her fiction has appeared in Your Impossible Voice.

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