Just because Donnie and Chris Davisson are brothers doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to make bro country. On the contrary, their new video for “Unbreak You” is an emotional offer to help someone overcome heartbreak.
The brothers from West Virginia told CMT.com about where the song came from, and what it was like to bring it to life in the video.
“We shot the video in our hometown of Clarksburg, West Virginia,” Chris Davisson told us. “The video has a double meaning with the horses. The idea came to life while hanging out at the horse arena one day staring at a horseshoe hanging on a nail. Our cousin, Adam Davisson, his wife Stacey and their horses are the leads in the video. We try and keep things real and true to our lifestyle.”
CMT.com: What about the song itself? What was the inspiration for the story?
Chris Davisson: I had been at my house for a few days off the road and this melody just kept hitting me. I started humming the verse and chorus for a few days working around my property. That evening, I grabbed a guitar and cut a work tape of me humming the melody and playing the guitar part. I went to Nashville a few weeks later with my brother Donnie to write for a few days. I had this story in my head as well. We pulled the recording out and pretty much put the lyrics to it.
CMT.com: Has songwriting always come so naturally to you?
Donnie Davisson: When I was 15 years old, I started writing songs, and people started listening and singing along. We started traveling to shows outside of West Virginia and people we didn’t even know would come out and sing along.
CMT.com: Technically, the two of you are brothers. And your band has two other guys, Rus Reppert and Aaron Regester. But your music doesn’t sound like bro country at all.
DD: I love to write just about anything. But I’ve always leaned a little more towards the slower ballads. I’ve always believed that music is how we relate who we are and how we express ourselves. To have someone relate to what I’m writing about or singing about has always made me feel good. To have someone come up and say, “Hey that song helped me get through this or that,” that makes you feel like the song served its purpose. Like the song means something to someone else besides me.
CMT.com: How do you get a break from the constant songwriting going on in your brain?
CD: Standing waste deep in a mountain stream catching brook, brown and rainbow trout. It’s really hard to shut things off when you’re a writer. It really never stops.
CMT.com: Who was the first artist to believe in you and change your life forever?
CD: I would have to credit that to our dad, Eddie Davisson. But besides him, it would be our close friend, Chris Janson. We go way back together. We picked a guy up — broke down and out of gas on the road — many years ago. The guy ended up being Chris Janson. The following week, we were touring together. Chris was the one who called us for our Opry debut a few months back. There is something about that stage and the energy in the room that only exists there. It was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling. We may go the rest of our lives and not feel that feeling again.
CMT.com: But getting to play shows like that doesn’t just happen overnight, right? What was the worst gig you’ve ever played?
DD: We played this truck stop gig in Virginia. We were supposed to play two nights, but after the first night they told us we weren’t good enough to come back the next night. It was hurtful at the time, but now we just laugh about it.
CMT.com: Then what? How did you get beyond the truck stop stage?
CD: Playing at 12th & Porter in Nashville was a career-changing venue for us. We were lucky enough to become friends with a lot of artists. We would all do showcases there and some of the acts hosted weekly events. Music would be going on in the dressing rooms, side rooms, on the stage, and in the parking lots. It was non-stop. A lot of things happened there for our career path. And someday we’d love to play the Ryman Auditorium, Merlefest and the stadium during CMA Fest.
CMT.com: Where are you off to next?
CD: We are always on tour. We’re touring the U.S. and Australia over the next month. Then we come back from Australia just in time for our first annual Wild and Wonderful Country Fest in our home state of West Virginia. We are super excited to have our first annual fest come to life. It’s been a lot of years in the making.
Keep up with the Davisson Brothers Band here.