They recently signed a record deal, but Christopher and Taylor Malpass don't really want to be rich and famous.
"To be honest, I love music, but don't ever want to quit working," says Taylor Malpass, the younger of the two. "When we toured with Merle Haggard, we went ahead and worked, anyway.
"We've never stopped working," he says. "Our granddaddy took pride in working, and we do, too."
Performing as the Malpass Brothers, the two are definitely a breath of fresh air in the jaded music business. They will play the Mars Theatre in Springfield on Oct. 24.
The Goldsboro, N.C., residents don't just sound retro, they are retro. Wearing their hair in 1950s-style pompadours, they twitch their hips like Elvis.
But though they dodge fame, it just might catch up and find them. The video for the title track from their "Memory That Bad" album hit CMT Pure Country's Top 10 list.
The Malpass Brothers have signed an exclusive recording contract with Crossroads' Organic Records. Their new album will be produced by bluegrass legend and Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson, with a spring 2015 release projected.
Recently, the brothers performed at the World of Bluegrass festival in Raleigh, N.C.; appeared at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta during the Performing Arts Exchange; and were invited to play in a showcase produced by JRA Fine Arts of Nashville, where they were featured with the Annie Moses Band, Mike Farris and others.
They have also been selected to appear in a juried showcase Nov. 11 at the Mid-Atlantic Performing Arts Market in Lancaster, Pa.
"We've been playing about 16 years now," Malpass says. "We've kind of been working toward a record deal the whole time. We're trying to make something out of it."
Malpass, who is four years younger than his brother, says the two are best friends.
"We do everything together," he says. "We didn't have any cousins, so it was always just me and him."
The brothers like old-style country music and an old-fashioned lifestyle.
"Our granddaddy had a record player and all he listened to was old country," Malpass says.
"We got hooked on it. It was all we ever listened to. We like old cars, old music, the old way of life, pretty much."
Self-taught musicians, the brothers began taking their music more seriously about six years ago, when they toured with Haggard.
"He was a lot of fun," Malpass says. "Chris went first on the tour by himself because I was still in high school.
"I went on tour the week after I graduated," he says. "It started in California and I'd never been that far away from home."
Since then, the two have traveled much farther.
"We've been overseas four times," Malpass says. "We've been to every state in the U.S., touring with Merle. If it hadn't been for the music, I'd probably never went anywhere like that."
In addition to singing and playing, the two also write music.
"My brother writes the lyrics," Malpass says. "I help with the melodies. I give him ideas as he's writing."
Touring with Haggard was a wonderful experience, but the brothers say there is something that tops it.
"My favorite thing, and I can say that for my brother, too, that we ever did was we played the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium," Malpass says. "We stood where all our heroes have stood."
The Malpasses both work day jobs, and are fortunate to have understanding bosses.
"I farm for one of the biggest farmers in Wayne County," Malpass says. "I work with him and he works with our music and stuff.
"Chris, he works for the county schools as a carpenter. Both of our bosses are very lenient with us."
It turns out that Malpass isn't entirely adverse to making it big.
"I'd love to be able to make a good living so I don't have to worry about anything," he says. "I'd like to be able, if I see an old car, to buy it."
The Malpass Brothers have an exciting show planned for the Mars Theatre.
"We'll be doing pretty much all old country," Malpass says. "Everything will be from and before the early 1980s.
"There'll be a little bit of rockabilly and bluegrass," he says. "We try to joke a little bit, too, to give them something to laugh at. We look forward to coming and getting to meet everybody."