Karen Knapstein
February 23, 2014
More Music

The Bergamot

Jillian Speece and Nathaniel Hoff met in high school.

For Jillian, singing in public was old news, she’d been doing it since she was young,┬áSpeece explained in a phone interview,

But, she shared, “Nathan was giving guitar lessons, and I was in need of lessons.”

For Nathan, discovering a guitar his mom had abandoned in the ’70s was a lucky stroke. “I had the fortune,” he shared, “of knowing from a young age what I wanted to do.” His early start was pretty great. “300 people would show up at my show…and I couldn’t even drive,” he laughed. “I lived on stage.”

After working together for a while, they started writing songs. And after writing songs for a while, they realized “we were a greater force together.”

“I remember thinking about him — thinking that he had an amazing work ethic and wondering ‘who is this guy?’ He was determined, and he was someone I wanted to be involved with because of it.”

feature-cover-the-bergamotThey’re proof that, as they’ve learned, “if you work hard, you can fulfill your dreams.” And not just in music.They both went to college to play golf.

“We were lucky because we got out of school with no debt because of scholarships, so our first years after graduation we were able to commit ourselves to music,” said Nathan. Now, as The Bergamot, they’re on their own record label and feel like “we’re on the cutting edge of the indie scene. We have a skill set as musicians, but also on the business side, and our college education helps us make good decisions.”

Now on their third album, “Tones,” they’ve learned even more. “The writing process — the poetry background — is the core of our songs and two months of writing will lead to two weeks of recording. Once you’ve been through the writing and THEN go record…it’s huge!”

When you see them live, you can expect “Energy. It’s where we feel most alive, on stage, with our band. We stay real. We want to be consistent between our shows and what you hear on our records. We want our fans to be able to make a connection” with their songs, their performance, and with the duo themselves.

You can keep up with the band on their social accounts — Facebook and Twitter — and don’t miss their interview with Scott Evans and acoustic performances, as well as tracks and images below.

“Wishing Well”


“Smile Railroad”




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