The Common Linnes are a Dutch band that formed in 2013. The band members were originally individual artists Ilse DeLange and Waylon who have known each other for years before the formation of the duo. DeLange has stated that the group is a platform for Dutch artists to make country, Americana, or bluegrass music and that the members will be changing. In May 2014, Waylon left the group and was replaced by American country singer Jake Etheridge. Their song "Calm After the Storm", which is on their debut album The Common Linnes, reached second place in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 and gave the Netherlands their best result since their last winning entry in 1975. The song became a hit throughout Europe.
Ilse de Lange and Waylon are both from the eastern part of the Netherlands. In Dutch, people from this region are sometimes called heikneuters, referring to the songbird kneu. In English this bird is called a common linnet. So in fact, DeLange and Waylon are both songbirds from the eastern Netherlands. The name for the band is an idea from Dutch designer Rens Dekker, who is also responsible for the artwork design of their single and self-titled album.
The band was originally composed of individual country artists Ilse DeLange and Waylon. However, Waylon stated that the band was created by Ilse and that she is, at the moment, the main leader. Ilse said that she created the band as a project or a "platform" for Dutch artists to make country, Americana or bluegrass music. Both artists stated that both artists can "be replaced" by other musicians. Since May 2014, Waylon is replaced by American country singer Jake Etheridge. However, he has since performed with Common Linnes once more.
Ilse DeLange was born on 13 May 1977 in Almelo, Netherlands. She started her career at the age of 8 as a lip-synching artist, which won her several contests. De Lange drew greater attention after switching to a live repertoire in both regional and national talent shows in Hilversum (the Dutch town where most TV-programs are recorded). This helped her book some live-performances on national television. She formed a duo with guitarist Joop Liefland, who introduced her to country music.
Waylon was born on 20 April 1980 in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. His stage name came from the name of his idol Waylon Jennings. After the Eurovision contest, the band went on a promotional tour in the Netherlands and some European countries. Fans however noted the absence of Waylon raising suspicion that he has left the group or even had been permanently replaced. Waylon wrote an article on his official Facebook website that "both members did not foresee the success of the band" and that he is currently occupied with his album that is going to be released in September 2014.
2013–14: Eurovision and debut album
On 25 November 2013, the Dutch Eurovision Song Contest broadcasters, AVRO and TROS, announced in a press conference, that the band would represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen with the song "Calm After the Storm". Ilse De Lange and Waylon presented their song for Eurovision 2014 for the first time in the Dutch TV Show 'De Wereld Draait Door' on the 12th of March and released the final version the next day. On 9 May 2014, they released their debut studio album The Common Linnets and the following day reached second place in the Eurovision final behind Conchita Wurst of Austria. On 17 May 2014 the album entered the Dutch Albums Chart at number 1. On 14 May 2014 the album was at number 27 on The Official Chart Update in the UK. On 15 May 2014 the album entered the Irish Albums Chart at number 45. On 11 September 2014 they released "Give Me a Reason" as the second single from the album, the song peaked to number 92 on the Dutch Singles Chart. The Common Linnets won the 2014 Buma Cultuur Pop Award.
The Common Linnets won the 2015 Echo Awards for Best International Newcomer Act. On 1 May 2015 they released the single "We Don't Make the Wind Blow", the song peaked to number 74 on the Dutch Singles Chart. On 25 September 2015, they released their second studio album II. The album peaked to number 1 on the Dutch Albums Chart. The album has also charted in Austria, Belgium and Germany.
In autumn 2015 The Common Linnets will play at clubs through The Netherlands.