The Talbott Brothers trek to the M-Shop


Courtesy of Nick Talbott

Independent folk-rock duo The Talbott Brothers, Nick and Tyler, will be performing at the M-Shop on Friday, Feb. 22.

Tana Gam-Ad

Making their latest tour stop at the Maintenance Shop are Oregon based folk-rock duo, The Talbott Brothers.

Made up by real-life brothers Nick and Tyler Talbott, the group originally hails from Imperial, Nebraska and have been writing and performing music since the summer of 2012. Growing up, they were always playing music. However, they got more serious about the craft while attending college.

“Tyler and I went to different colleges so we would just kind of travel to each other’s towns and play in these dark little bars and coffee shops and we grew up playing in church,” Nick Talbott said.

Eventually the duo moved out to Portland, OR, and have been making music there ever since. To date, they have put out three independent albums and have been touring continuously.

Following the release of their latest album “Gray” in 2017, they made their first appearance on KINK FM’s Skype Live Studio and have performed with well-known musicians in their genre such as Johnnyswim, ZZ Ward and Dead Horses.

“Gray” encompasses their passion and love for music. With 14 songs on the track list for this album comes an opportunity for The Talbott Brothers to tell a multitude of stories. The album contains a mix of infectious melodies, taking you through a range of emotions, from melancholic to bright and energetic.

Another thing to note about “Gray” are the tight harmonies on the album, an identifying factor of the group. The way Nick and Tyler Talbott’s voices and work together on each song round out their sound and give a depth to their music.

The well mixed and full sounding instrumental work on the album, especially with the guitar on the track “Dreamin’,” shows off their Nebraskan roots as well as their skill with the instrument.

The Talbotts had been traveling consistently for five or six years before “Gray” gave them a reason to stay put.

“We wrote the majority of it while we weren’t on the road and so it was the perspective of digging down inside about the human condition and what it means to be a person trying to do their everyday,” Talbott said.

Talbott also discussed their favorites on “Gray.”

“I think Tyler’s favorite song is “Traveler” because he’s always kind of felt like what we do relates to people. We’re all travelers in a way, doing the day to day and just trying to figure out one day at a time,” Talbott said about his brother. “I think for me, [my favorite] would be the single that we put out before the album, ‘We Got Love.’ I think it speaks a lot because it’s about taking what’s comfortable and uprooting from that. Going out and riskin’ it for the biscuit, for lack of better terms.”

Being brothers, their dynamic as a group is interesting and a bit different from the usual and “involves lots of fighting,” Talbott joked. Despite their differences, music has always united them. 

“We each write and the process for us is like, one of us will start writing a song and maybe write three-quarters of it then take it to the other,” Talbott said. “We do this screening process and ask each other if we like the songs. Since we’re brothers, we cut to the chase and we can be honest with each other. We make a really good team but we’re brothers and we’ll find a way to argue of over something stupid.”

The Talbott Brothers’ future plans include finishing up their tour and a possible new album in the making. The pair are planning to take some down time in Portland before heading back to the studio in May. They hope to have the new album out sometime later this year before hitting the road again. They gain a lot of their inspiration from time on the road and connections they make on the way. 

“I think we’ve always looked at music as us connecting to people, to look outside of ourselves,” Talbott said. “It’s always been about relationships and who we are able to meet and the stories from people that we are able to hear. So, it inspires us to write music and to be honest about stuff that were struggling with so we can put it in a song.”

Always on the lookout for new connections, it will be the Talbotts’ first time in Ames.

“You know, back here in the Midwest, we’re reminded of what food portions should be,” Talbott said. “It’ll be a lot of fun to play at the Maintenance Shop for the first time and it’s really cool to be back in the Midwest. We want to put on the best show that we can no matter how many people.”

The Talbott Brothers will perform at 8 p.m. Friday in the M-Shop. Tickets are $8 for ISU students and $10 for the public. They are available for purchase at the M-Shop box office or online via Midwestix.