For King & Country, the brothers duo who performed in Lafayette last spring, will be making some major appearances in the coming weeks.
First up, Dolly Parton will welcome the Australian brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, along with Zach Williams, to the Country Music Association Awards set to air Nov. 13 on ABC.
They will sing a medley of “God Only Knows,” which the duo and the country superstar released in August; “There Was Jesus,” Parton's duet with Williams, and Parton’s new song “Faith."
On Nov. 17, For King & Country brings an updated version of its Burn the Ships’ World Tour: North America to the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. Visit creationconcerts.com for information. Tickets are $20 to $40, but you can also get a $200 VIP exclusive package or a $75 VIP Q&A ticket.
If you want to see the brothers' other project, a video of them and Parton singing “God Only Knows,” visit their website, forkingandcountry.com.
The brothers explained how the collaboration with Parton came about.
Joel Smallbone said he had recently watched the movie “Dumplin,” which was produced by Parton and used a lot of her music. The brothers also grew up in church with Parton’s managers.
Luke Smallbone said he decided to call friends the brothers grew up with and see if Dolly would do a feature, "which is a pretty insane ask.”
A week later, Parton called to talk about it. A few weeks later, she recorded a vocal track, and, Luke Smallbone said, "a couple of months after that, we’ve got a music video together, done press together.
"It’s just a crazy situation where an idea from a phone call turned into something significant,” Luke Smallbone said. “And, honestly, to hear her vocals on that recording, there’s something about the female voice signing those lyrics that is really powerful. So we are grateful to have her on the song and grateful to see it going into different parts of the world.”
While the tour carries the same name as the spring show in Lafayette, the brothers promise it's new.
“We have a stage that is inspired by the bow of a ship. … We’ve got these LED sails that move and flap and do all kinds of crazy things,” Luke Smallbone said.
“We tried to make it super elaborate, but we also want to make it the most intimate and personal night," he added. "One of the things we have taken upon ourselves on this tour is it’s almost a storytelling night For King & Country, as well as an elaborate show. That’s something we’ve really enjoyed so far, getting to be with everyone but to share some of these stories that inspired this album and this tour.”
And there's more on the horizon.
The brothers are working on a film called “The Drummer Boy.”
“It’s based in the Civil War era with two brothers ending up on either side of the war. It takes place around the Christmas season, and it’s also a musical,” Luke Smallbone said. “It’s a lot to endeavor, but my brother Joel and I have written all the music for it, and we are kind of finishing up some of those parts now, and we’re hoping to film this next fall.”