When Branch & Dean hit the stage at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, expect an energetic show and some good times. The country duo composed of singer/songwriters Steve Branch and Dean Scallan pours their love of people and country music into every show they play.
But these Florida boys are bringing more than good times with them. Branch & Dean make music for a cause. And that cause is the battle against cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease which attacks the lungs, causing chronic infections and degrading the ability to breath over time. Branch, who lost a son to the disease, and Scallan have since dedicated their lives and careers to fighting the disease.
“I’ve always loved music and thought it would be part of my life”, Branch tells East Idaho News. “But then when my son passed, we got hooked up with the cystic fibrosis chapters and all that stuff, the music changed. It’s music with a purpose now, and I know in my heart it’s what I’m supposed to do.”
A good example of this “music with a purpose” is “The Dash”, an earnest, sincere ballad about living life to its fullest. It’s an emotional, thoughtful song that tugs at the heartstrings and inspires thought about how you are spending your own life.
Branch & Dean have played this song, along with their other hits, at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation functions, raising money to fund research into the disease.
“We are national celebrity ambassadors for cystic fibrosis”, explains Scallan. “We donate our time and play galas and golf tournaments and tell our story and tell people why it’s important to raise money.” To date, Branch & Dean have raised nearly four million dollars to help combat CF.
While “The Dash” is an exemplary, purposeful ballad, Branch & Dean do a ,lot of other things well. “Ink” is a total foot-stomper, brimming with rock and roll energy. “Glad She’s Not an Angel” is a pure melodic country mash note anthem. “Your Ol’ Lady’s Gone” has a catchy yodel-filled chorus that you instantly want to sing along with. These guys may play country music, but they draw influences from all over the music spectrum.
“We love all kinds of music”, says Branch. “We’re in the country market, but it’s not only country. We love it all.”
“And we play it all, too”, adds Scallan. “It all sounds country, but we do play it all.”
When not writing or playing music, you can catch Branch & Dean hitting the links. “We love to play golf”, says Scallan. “If we can ever weasel our way into a game, that’s what we’re going to do.”
But music is the focus, and it’s all for the fans. “If you’re touching somebody in that audience, man, there’s no better feeling in the world”, says Branch. “And after the show, if they’re waiting for a signed picture, and they just wait, wait, wait… That’s pretty amazing to me.”
“We have a have a very diverse live show”, adds Scallan. “We’re definitely country artists and we play our songs, but our live show is really all over the place. We have something for everybody.”
You can catch Branch & Dean live on the Northwest Farm Credit free stage Wednesday, Sept. 6 through Saturday, Sept. 9 at 4:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Debbie Bryce, EastIdahoNews.com