By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer
One of the two songs which brought Muskogee’s Swon Brothers into NBC’s “The Voice” finale was dedicated to a special group of people.
Zach and Colton Swon dedicated “Turn the Page” to their band members.
The Swon Brothers’ lead guitarist and background vocalist, Eric Gillette, said he and the rest of the band were surprised and honored by the gesture.
“That was super cool. That was awesome. We weren’t expecting anything like that,” said Gillette, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas.
Gillette, who is playing with Nashville progressive rock artist Neal Morse while the brothers are in California, said Zach and Colton’s success on NBC’s “The Voice” is “incredible.”
It means great things for the brothers and their band, which includes Gillette, Josh Reynolds on drums and James Redden on keyboards, Gillette said.
“It’s really exciting that they are top three now. I see it opening tons of doors,” Gillette said. “I’m really excited about what’s happening after the show is over. That’s the cool thing about these guys. Nothing is going to their heads.”
The brothers’ keyboard player, Redden of Miami, Okla., who now lives in Muskogee, said he’s played with Zach and Colton for about three years now.
Redden, who made it to the group rounds in Hollywood on “American Idol” last summer, said he planned to audition for “The Voice” last summer and asked the Swon Brothers to go along.
“I paid for gas and they paid for the hotel,” Redden said. “I auditioned solo, and they auditioned as a duo. We all made it through the preliminary rounds and got called back a week later.”
The brothers went on, now making it into the top three and the show’s finale at 7 p.m. Monday.
“So, really, I talked them into it,” Redden said, laughing. “I take credit for that. But let me say this too: All five of us in the band bring something awesome to the group from a musical standpoint.”
The band’s drummer, Reynolds of Broken Arrow, began playing with the Swon Brothers last March.
He was set to audition for the seat, but was feeling discouraged by a run of “bad luck” he’d been having, Reynolds said.
“At that point, I'd been through a run of bands that were kind of flaky,” he said. “None of them really had the drive that matched mine, so it was irritating. My girlfriend made me get up and go to that audition.”
And Reynolds is glad he did, because Zach and Colton turned out to be “really cool people,” he said.
“You know how people have an aura about them and you just click? Well, that's how it was for us. Our chemistry together really worked,” Reynolds said.
He was also delighted with the Swon Brothers’ mention of and dedication to him and fellow band members on last week’s show.
“They’re that kind of person,” Reynolds said. “They have a huge heart and are very loyal.”
There’s one more band member who doesn’t appear on stage but is valuable to the group, said the Swon Brothers and their mother.
“Their dad (Kelly Swon) has been a big part of their music, because he has been their roadie, their sound man, and they could not have done this without him,” said Tammy Swon, Zach and Colton’s mother. “I have to give him kudos. He is a crucial part of their musical career.”
Zach and Colton agree and sent a written statement from California on how they feel about their father’s support through the years:
“Our father has hauled around our gear and set up full sound systems for us. Broke his back delivering for UPS for 25 years and, still, he is working hard just so we can chase our dreams. He has done so much. But most importantly, he took us to church. Love ya Dad, and thank you. Happy Father’s Day!”
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.