Brandon Jane and Leah Crutchfield, the sisters that comprise Coldwater Jane, have taken a winding path down the road of music. It has lead them back to their beginnings. Brandon and Leah hail from the tiny town of Lucedale, Miss., population 2,990. “They are mainly our relatives,” Leah says with a smile. “We know most everybody that lives there.”
Their father was a ‘70s rocker at heart who helped instill their love of the Eagles and Jim Croce, among other bands, while their mother insisted on gospel music. “We weren’t allowed to listen to the radio unless it was Christian music, but our dad would sneak us Journey when we were washing the truck,” says Leah, with a laugh. Their paternal grandmother was also a musician. “We’ve always been around music,” Brandon says. “Our mom and dad really encouraged us to be creative and play instruments.”
As teenagers, they toured with their parents as a family gospel band, sometimes playing three gigs a day. Their mother booked the band while their brother handled the drums and their father played bass. Brandon handled lead vocals and Leah sang harmony and alternated between guitar and keyboard. “We were very fortunate to grow up being able to share our faith. It is who we are and the cornerstone of everything we do.”
After three years on the road the family moved to Nashville so that Brandon and Leah could pursue a career in music. “They basically said, ‘We’re here, do with this opportunity what you will’,” Brandon recalls. “They’re dreamers.”
After working a variety of odd jobs, they landed a publishing deal as a duo. But after some time of trying to get a record deal together, they decided to take separate career paths. Leah focused more on a career in songwriting and Brandon pursued a solo career. “This business can be brutal”, says Brandon. “I spent the next five years trying to figure out who I was as an artist. I was passed on, offered deals that I never got and every year my birthday would roll around and I thought, ‘this is going to be my year.’”
All the while, the two sisters really missed playing music together. They decided to start writing together, and initiated to help of producers Kevin Kadish and Wayne Kirkpatrick. To their surprise, it wasn’t long before Universal Records took notice and signed the duo immediately after hearing them play. It was a very exciting time that included a music video and a single on the country music charts called “Bring On The Love.” But the first single didn’t go as planned and they eventually were released from their label.
Filled with disappointment and questions as to why all of this happened, the sisters needed a break. “Sometimes you need to step back from the details and get a wider view. Hindsight 20/20, being dropped from our label was the best thing that could have ever happened”, Brandon said. In true sister style, Brandon and Leah were blessed enough to be pregnant at the same time and have the most amazing little gifts; Lulu & Finn.
The duo began writing again, but this time they kept seeing a thread running through their music. “My faith is the most important thing in my life,” Leah stated. “We want to be a light in the world. We want our music to inspire and give hope. I can’t think of a better way to share our faith than through our music.”
Their sound is uniquely their own. “We want to be a fresh voice on the radio,” Brandon says. “We want our music to be something anyone would want to listen to. Hopefully it will inspire them to live their life with a purpose.
It took a while to get there, but the winding path they have followed lead them back to their roots of gospel music. “All this time we have been living life, doing business, parenting, being friends, treating others in such a way that we hope to shine. That thread is now in our music.