It’s a classic love story with a musical twist: a northern Prairie songbird and an authentic Appalachian troubadour meet in an historic coastal city, fall in love and cross borders together to build a life and take the stage. And a nation of two is born.
Nation of Two is a newly formed folk duo composed of Winnipeg’s Jessee Havey and Nathaniel Good of West Virginia.
Born and raised in the gritty prairie music capital Winnipeg, Jessee Havey has been a force in Canadian folk music for nearly twenty years. Inspired since childhood by the great divas of country, gospel and soul—influenced as much by Aretha and Etta as Dolly—her striking depth as a vocalist put her on the world stage as a tender teenager. Havey co-founded Winnipeg folk favorites the Duhks just out of high school and for over a decade her soaring-but-sensitive vocals, songwriting mettle and undeniable charisma helped to make the Duhks a legendary stage act. As a member of the Duhks, Havey toured the world, released four albums and earned both Grammy and Canadian Juno Awards.
Nathaniel Good is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born in Charleston, West Virginia and raised in an eclectic, musical household by multi-talented parents and relatives. Writing and singing from an early age, Good developed a complex artistic voice haunted by the songs, stories and diverse landscapes of their native Appalachia. Good’s career as a performer began during their teen years playing in bands. During the past decade they have developed their music as a solo artist, incorporating elements of Americana, folk and alternative music into their rich and timeless songwriting.
A bit more about that love story: Havey and Good met through friends while Nathaniel was living in St Augustine, Florida. The two became friends and mutual musical admirers, and eventually romantic and artistic partners. They began to write songs together during their cross-border courtship, co-creating meticulously crafted numbers about love—and fittingly—distance featuring guitar, ukulele and the couple’s stunning—and stunningly intimate—vocal harmonies.
This is a long-distance love story with a happy ending, with Havey and Good marrying in a small backyard ceremony in Winnipeg during the fall of 2016. They continue to write new music, drawing on the narrative traditions of Appalachian music and socially-significant protest songs.
The pair’s commitment to their personal and musical partnership is reflected in their name, which was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s vision of the “nation of two”, or “how a pair of lovers in a world gone mad could survive by being loyal only to a nation composed of themselves”.
Two incredible voices from two separate countries. Two major talents meeting to create a new musical Nation of Two.