Trent and Tim Leclaire writers for the most notable brother tribute song in country music history. 'Ira' recorded by living legend Charlie Louvin.' Receiving major accolades and * * * * praise from Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. Hear the buzz? The noise about the boys from Rhinelander, WI who sing with the echoes of the Louvins and Everlys, and whose songwriting is uniquely refreshing in this era of sound-alike country music.There's more than mere magnificent brotherly blend in the music of these twins, there is an intuitive reach for the next step, the next great sound, two young talents pushing each other to be better and better. Tim and Trent Leclaire spent their first six years as army brats traveling from post to post, children of a troubled marriage that separated them from their father when it fell apart for good. The constant moving made the boys very close, and at about the age of six they started singing together. The family was too poor to afford musical instruments but when they were ten they had a friend who had a guitar he couldn't play. Trent had five dollars and a well-worn sound mixer that he traded for the guitar. Their mother brought it to a store to have it strung and tuned, and that was the beginning of their musical self-education. Their mom scrimped and saved and after they turned twelve she bought them both guitars and amps, and a Mel Bay instruction book. By this time they were living near LaCrosse, which had a country station that specialized in trivia contests. They knew most of the answers and before long the station knew them. 'We'd win and win and we'd go over to the station and they'd just let us go through their stacks of albums and pick our own prizes,' says Tim. 'That meant a lot to us because we couldn't afford to buy records.' By this time they were beginning to understand that songs were actually written, and by the time they were fourteen they were writing with great seriousness of purpose. 'We never really made a decision to go into music,' Trent recalls. 'We just always assumed that we would.' When they were sixteen they got their first steady paying Gig, at a restaurant called The Freight House, Lacrosse's finest eatery. 'We played there until we moved to Nashville,' Tim remembers. 'We graduated from high school a semester early and in January of 1990, we climbed in our Chevy Citation with a hundred bucks in our pockets and lit out for Nashville. We had a flat tire before we got out of Wisconsin.' 'We arrived in Nashville January 19, 1990,' Trent adds, 'and on the 21st we played the Bluebird Café. We just walked in, and soon we were regulars there.' The boys got a job doing sound at the Opryland Hotel and in their spare time started playing the Opryland Talent Showcases. They won first place in 1991, '94, '96, and '97. 'In the fall of 1992 we played our first Grand Ole Opry Matinee and in December of 1997 we made our debut on the stage of the Ryman for the promotion of the play about the Everly Brothers,' Tim recalls. 'One of our great ambitions is to be members of the Opry.' And that's one of the things that makes Leclaire so unique. They combine the creativity of contemporary country songwriters with the influences of the harmony-rich country brother traditions like the Delmores and the magnificent Louvins. Ask Charlie Louvin about the twins and he'll just smile. 'These boys,' he says, 'are as good as we were, maybe better.' Listen - and you'll get it.
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