By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Nashville, Tennessee, duo Brent Meece and Kyle Leonhardt were in Marshfield March 25 to commemorate the release of their self-titled EP “Brent and Kyle.” The release was held in conjunction with Meece and Leonhardt’s performance at Rose Bowl Lanes.
Leonhardt is a Stratford native who relocated to Nashville in August 2008 to pursue a music career.
“I had just finished school and was working at (Rose Bowl Lanes), and my dad asked me what I was going to do now,” recalled Leonhardt. “I didn’t really have a decent answer for him, and another friend of mine, Jason Goode, said, ‘Well, why don’t you move to Nashville? You always said you wanted to.’
“That was about all it took. That conversation was on a Monday night, and by Wednesday I was packed up and gone.”
After putting down some roots in the Tennessee city, Leonhardt began to make connections with other musicians.
“Brent and I had a couple really close mutual friends, so we kind of met by just hanging out in the same crowd,” Leonhardt explained. “I would say it was probably 2010 when we first met. Not long after that, we were at a bar, and some songs came on the jukebox. We both knew the other was a musician, but after about the 15th time of us saying how one song or another was one of our favorites, he asked if I wanted to join him to play on a Wednesday night at this little bar where he performs.
“I went out there one week with the intention of playing a few songs and hanging out. I sat up there for four hours with him and have been doing it ever since.”
In late 2012 and early 2013, the two friends began booking shows.
“I guess that would be when Brent and Kyle really started,” said Leonhardt.
In addition to their musical careers, Meece is a warehouse manager in the Nashville area, and Leonhardt works for the group Little Big Town and is employed with Harbor Entertainment when he is not on the road. Meece and Leonhardt’s recently released EP, a five-song compilation of original tracks, is the first for the duo.
“These are all songs that we wrote,” explained Leonhardt. “We both had songs and ideas that we worked on separately. We played them for each other and narrowed it down.
“This is the closest thing we have to an autobiography. A whole lot of our lives and a whole lot of growing up was done in those songs. Musicians use music as therapy, so these songs are about as open and honest as it can get.”
Meece and Leonhardt have watched as the EP has found some measurable success on the country chart.
Leonhardt said, “It was the craziest thing because I never imagined I would see it on a chart, but because of the wonderful friends and family and support we get, I looked at iTunes, and it actually made it to around No. 91 on the country chart. To be on the same chart as heroes like George Strait, Brooks and Dunn, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings, it’s hard to wrap my brain around that, but there we were No. 91, in between Brooks and Dunn’s greatest hits and Patsy Cline.
“We would love to make a living by making music. We don’t need to be the biggest stars on the planet. … I just want to make a good, honest, living-making music I love with one of my very best friends.”