The Common Linnets, a band hailing from the Netherlands, was established in 2013, initially featuring Ilse DeLange and Waylon. DeLange elucidated that the group was formed as a dynamic platform for Dutch musicians to experiment and create country, Americana, and bluegrass music. The band saw a change in lineup when Waylon departed in May 2014 and was replaced by American country artist Jake Etheridge.
Their debut album, featuring the song “Calm After the Storm”, secured them a second-place finish in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 – the best performance by the Netherlands since their victory in 1975.
The band’s name draws inspiration from the regional nickname ‘heikneuters,’ attributed to individuals from the eastern part of the Netherlands, DeLange and Waylon’s birthplace. This term refers to the songbird ‘kneu’ or common linnet. Credit for this innovative name goes to Dutch designer Rens Dekker, who also designed their album and single artworks.
The initial band members were individual country artists, Ilse DeLange and Waylon, with DeLange acknowledged as the founder and leading member. DeLange envisaged the band as a project to facilitate Dutch artists in their musical explorations. Since 2014, the band has been composed of Ilse DeLange, JB Meijers, Jake Etheridge, and Matthew Crosby, who along with Rob Crosby, penned the hit “Calm After The Storm”.
Born on May 13, 1977, in Almelo, Netherlands, Ilse DeLange’s musical journey started at the tender age of 8. Her talents were showcased in regional and national talent shows in Hilversum, followed by a musical partnership with guitarist Joop Liefland.
Waylon, born on April 20, 1980, in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, adopted his stage name in honor of his idol, Waylon Jennings. After their Eurovision success, the band embarked on a promotional tour. The noticeable absence of Waylon sparked speculations of him leaving the band. On his official Facebook page, Waylon revealed that the unexpected success of the band led him to focus on his album releasing in September 2014.
JB Meijers, born on June 10, 1972, in Delft, Netherlands, joined the band after his stint with Dutch indie bands Charmin’ Children, Shine, and Supersub. Besides playing with De Dijk, Eboman, and Acda & De Munnik, he also worked as a producer.
Jake Etheridge, born on April 25, 1988, in Columbia, South Carolina, joined the band post-Waylon’s departure. Before joining, he had gained recognition for his online song uploads. Matthew Crosby, born on May 21, 1981, in Columbia, South Carolina, was an accomplished actor in New York City and had previously performed with the band “The Easy Tells”.
The band represented the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, with the song “Calm After the Storm”. The Common Linnets won the 2014 Buma Cultuur Pop Award and the 2015 Echo Awards for Best International Newcomer Act. Their second studio album ‘II’ was released in 2015. The album became a Gold disc.
In 2016 the band played at Eurosonic Noorderslag. They went to Sweden to perform in Douwe Bob‘s pub in Stockholm, during the Eurovision week. In June, they did a UK tour, in November they went back to Germany. Also in 2017, the band kept on performing. After that, Ilse Delange, JB Meijers and Matthew Crosby had solo projects.
Calm After The Storm
Martijn Van Agt
Running order: 14
Running order: 24