Brant Slay and Rob Addington are more than just Nature Conservancy colleagues – they’re partners in music. The duo has collaborated on “Stumble on the Fall Line,” a musical homage to Georgia’s Chattahoochee Fall Line region – an area they know well, both professionally and personally.
“We simply wanted to make a visual that captured our area both ecologically and historically,” said Brant, land protection specialist with the Conservancy’s Chattahoochee Fall Line project. “It has nothing to do with the fact that I have stumbled over much of the fall line looking for rare plant species and high quality land projects to protect on behalf of the Conservancy.
The making of the song started when Rob, a forest ecologist with the Conservancy’s Chattahoochee Fall Line project, passed along his original music to Brant, who wrote the lyrics and added a harp accompaniment. Then, in Rob’s home music studio, the pair combined music and lyrics for a rousing tribute to one of the Southeast’s most biologically diverse regions.
“It was pretty easy on my end," said Brant. “Rob is the real musician between us. He has a bunch of recording equipment and we love to make noise.”
“The song really fell into place,” said Rob, who can be heard playing various stringed instruments, including guitar and mandolin, on the recording. “Actually, the hardest part was coming up with lyrics, nice melodies and good hooks – that was all Brant.”
Brant’s vocals on “Stumble on the Fall Line” may remind some of his fellow Georgians of an early 1990s band, the Chickasaw Mudd Puppies. As a founding member of the two-man Athens, Georgia, band, Brant recorded two albums under the tutelage of Athens legend and R.E.M. member – Michael Stipe.
Despite his early beginnings in the music business, Brant chose to pursue his first passion – conservation, a path that led him to the Conservancy where he found a friend and musical kindred spirit in Rob.
"The Nature Conservancy seems to attract some of the brightest and most creative people that I have ever met,” said Brant. “Rob is one of those people. It's nice to be creative with co-workers whether the canvas be musical, visual or full blown landscape-scale land protection."January 22, 2013