Copyright ©2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


And as we say goodbye to this year, we're looking back to intriguing music and musicians we overlooked in 2013, as part of our annual series Music We Missed.


MONTAGNE: Donivan Berube and Jacquelyn Beaupre are founding members of the band Blessed Feathers. The folk duo started off as an unlikely pair. Donivan grew up in Florida as a Jehovah's Witness. He moved to Wisconsin to live with lifelong friends, also Jehovah's Witnesses, shortly after graduating from high school in 2008.

He settled in West Bend and got a job at a pizzeria, and that's where he met Jacquelyn Beaupre. They were both singers and songwriters and music brought them together, first as friends, then as musical partners, then as a couple. Their connection would challenge his faith and change the course of his life.

DONIVAN BERUBE: I met Jacquelyn the winter that I moved up here, and the entire spring and summer and fall we were courting and we were in love and everyone would say, you know, Donny-boy, she's tall like you and she's nice like you and she even plays music like you, but she's not a Jehovah's Witness and that was strange to me that we were so synonymous and it was against the rules.


BERUBE: Instead of being expelled, I wrote a letter of disassociation, which is to say, like, I'm no longer going to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses and all of my friends and family kind of have to shun me. I understand why my parents can't talk to me. I knew the consequences when I made that decision, so I try not to write anti-religious songs because that's not that how I feel.

JACQUELYN BEAUPRE: But I think his loss of family and friends comes through in some of the songs that he sings.


BLESSED FEATHERS: (Singing) Last time I saw was in a Salvation Army. I was feeling closed and looking hungry.

BERUBE: I sing, I think, about my dad so much, recycling metal in the garage or he had a landscaping business and I'd help him mow lawns and taking trees down. I'd come home and he'd be hammering away at a washing machine so he could take it to the recycling mill and make two and a half bucks.


FEATHERS: (Singing) (Unintelligible) we're busting up an air conditioner. Singing songs and (unintelligible) picking fights with my big sister.

MONTAGNE: In the five years since Donivan Berube disassociated himself from his church and family, he and Jacquelyn Beaupre have been writing and recording music while working at the restaurant where they met. This past year the couple took a chance on their career, living a nomadic lifestyle, touring and traveling.

BERUBE: Just in February of this year we quit and we had four weeks of touring, two weeks of recording, and then we decided to take a national park trip of all the western national parks. It's pretty cheap if you're okay with sleeping in a tent and being cold. So if anyone can take one lesson from Jackie and I's travels, it's that you actually can go to all the places you've dreamed of going to and you can do what you want to do. It's not a dream.


MONTAGNE: That was the band Blessed Feathers. Their latest album is called "Order of the Era."


MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.