Last summer, Tim Warren and Eric Donnelly, of the Bridgeport band the Alternate Routes, wrote “Nothing More” for Newtown Kindness, an organization founded in memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School victim Charlotte Bacon.
“Heroes don’t look like they used to,” Warren sings at the end of the third verse in a high, clear tenor. "They look like you do."
If there’s a way to avoid getting choked up when he sings that line, I haven’t found it yet.
Apparently I’m not alone. “Nothing More” was featured on the CBS drama “NCIS.” It popped up during the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In March, the Alternate Routes performed a full-band version on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” The song resonates with people as an anthem of hope and perseverance, and its popularity has brought increased attention to Warren and Donnelly, who met as Fairfield University students in 2002, as songwriters.
“Just about this time last summer we were asked to write [‘Nothing More’],” Warren told CTNow, “and everything’s been different. Everything has changed ever since we wrote this song, for the better.”
The duo joined us in our White Room to perform “Nothing More,” the title track of its latest album (available through Pledge Music), and “Stay,” a fan-favorite from the 2010 album “Lately.” Off-camera, there wasn’t an ounce of grizzled-vet vibe coming from either musician, but there’s a shorthand to the way they communicate, a shared level of comfort attainable only after countless van trips with broken air conditioning. On camera, their music was optimistic and outward-facing, inclusive and approachable.
The Alternate Routes (Warren and Donnelly, along with drummer Kurt Leon, bassist Ian Tait and keyboard player Taryn Chory) will perform at Toad’s Place in New Haven on Thursday, Aug. 21 with Red Wanting Blue, a Columbus, Ohio-based band they’ve been touring with all summer. Singer-songwriter Brian Jarvis opens the show.
THE ALTERNATE ROUTES play Toad’s Place in New Haven on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 8 p.m., with Red Wanting Blue and Brian Jarvis. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Information: toadsplace.com.