The Redheads Britta-n-Brooke
NASHVILLE – Britta and Brooke Dodgen may well be the most promising female duo in Country
since the Judds, but a skittish horse nearly kept them from ever reaching Nashville at all.
More than 90,000 MySpace friends are delighted that Britta and Brooke, the beautiful auburn-haired
singers and songwriters known collectively as The Redheads, didn't let that 1,000-pound animal stand
in their way.
Indirectly Tiara, the horse, led the Redheads straight to Country Radio and Country music.
Britta and Brooke are now 25 and 21, respectively, but nine years ago a terrible fall off of Tiara forced
little Brooke to go through a long period of rehab which put her early loves for riding and ballet both in
"I was really depressed," says Brooke, whose mother soon noticed the changes in her normally
upbeat, outgoing younger daughter.
But then Brooke discovered Country Radio and Country Music Television.
"That's when Brooke started smiling again," Mrs. Dodgen says.
Something about the stories in the songs, along with the simple power of the music by artists like
Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood, literally helped the kid back up on her feet.
"Country music," Brooke says, "showed me that everyone has problems, but that you just have to hold
on and get through them the best you can."
One particular Reba single – "I'm Gonna Take That Mountain" – became the girls' theme song during
"It's one of those songs," Britta says during a conversation in Nashville, "that will stay with us the rest of
our lives. When we met the songwriter Jerry Salley (who co-wrote that 2003 Reba hit with Melissa
Peirce), we just broke out in tears."
MySpace has enabled The Redheads to hear directly from fans who find magic not only in the ladies'
music, but also in their courageous life story. "So many people relate to Brooke's injury," the girls tell
us. "They share their own stories with us – from car accidents to disabilities – and Brooke has
become a major inspiration to others."
Long before the injury, both sisters had already demonstrated immense talent in music. Britta started
out singing opera – not the Grand Ole Opry type, the Schermerhorn Center type – and dancing ballet
all over the USA and even in Scotland. Brooke likewise danced with some of the world's most
prestigious ballet companies.
But the very same drive that enabled these overachieving and beautiful girls to climb to the top levels
of the equestrian and dance world is now focused on writing and performing Country music.
And The Redheads are opening lots of eyes – and ears.
The sisters entered the fiercely competitive and highly prestigious W.C. Handy Festival in Alabama.
Despite the dozens of talented artists on hand, The Redheads qualified for the Top Six
Singer/Songwriter Showcase at the Festival. Their performances at 2nd Half Studio in Sheffield and
Da'Hideaway Resaurant in Tuscumbia, Alabama were packed.
Songs like "Light A Candle," a message ballad ("I light a candle/for all the children of the world") show
a Radio-friendly and family-friendly sense, plus a great talent for duet arrangement and harmony. The
girls alternate on the verses, and each voice has great character. They also share the gift of family
harmony that Southern Country, Bluegrass, and Gospel groups have treasured for generations.
"Waves Of Emotion" is a bluesy tempo tune with the vocals playing on top of acoustic guitars and
thumping percussion; "Boys Will Be Boys" has wonderful shades of the Judds, but with a unique
Redheads edginess to it; while "I Don't Wanna Fall" explores the minor keys and anger which so often
come in music from artists of the Dodgens' age, but few Country artists have had the courage to sing it.
Funny thing is, though, that the artist who the Redheads seem to admire the most is one who was born
in 1935, over 50 years before either of them. It's Loretta Lynn, who was groundbreaking in the early
1960s in her "Coal Miner's Daughter" period, then shook up Music Row in the 1970s with "One's On
The Way" and "Rated X," and remains brilliant and unpredictable today.
And oh by the way, Loretta's daughters, the identical twins Patsy and Peggy, scored some of Country
Radio's last hits by a female duo called The Lynns, with "Nights Like These" and "Woman To Woman"
So Nashville remains a very small world, when it comes to extremely talented and attractive stars like