This year Hallmark has really gone above and beyond in the, all things holly and jolly department. Not only have they gifted us with 41 new original movies across all their platforms, but one of those movies is set in the deep South. In fact, Every Time a Bell Rings was actually filmed entirely on location in Natchez, Mississippi. One of the stars of the movie, Wes Brown, told Southern Living, "Natchez is definitely a main character in this movie. And rightfully so. I'm kind of embarrassed that I'm from two hours south of there and I've never been. But that's my fault. I got to go and I'm looking forward to going back."
The Baton Rouge native plays Liam, a lifelong friend to sisters Charlotte (Erin Cahill), Emily, (Brittany Ishibashi) and Nora (Ali Liebert) who've all reunited in their hometown for their first Christmas since their dad died. With help from Liam and their mother, played by horror film great, Dee Wallace, the sisters follow clues their dad left behind for one last Christmas scavenger hunt, a tradition from their childhood. The adventure takes them, and us as the viewers all over town, shining a bright light on some local businesses and the natural beauty of Natchez.
Brown once again blends his two loves of music and acting in this role as Liam's musical talent has made him somewhat of a local celebrity. At one point, Liam performs an original tune that Brown wrote specifically for the movie. "A Natchez Christmas Eve" perfectly captures the spirit of this unique town at Christmastime. Brown said he wanted to make sure the song was as true to the town as the movie was. He shared that this is the first Hallmark movie without snow because as anyone from the South knows, snow in Natchez would be a real Christmas miracle. "When I was writing the song, the song started off as this big, Southern song. And then I was like let's make it closer to the Mississippi area. And then [I wanted to] write it from the character, I was like if we're going to do everything completely Natchez, then the song should stay Natchez as well." The lyrics deliver, even referencing the fluctuating weather conditions we Southerners are used to experiencing.
"Know there might be snow, there might be sweet Southern rain," he croons in one line and then, "'Cause it's you and me, underneath Magnolia Trees/ Might be 35, might be 80 degrees./ No matter the weather, it's you and me together on a Natchez, Mississippi Christmas Eve."
The full song is now available on all streaming platforms. Check it out below. We think it will make a great addition to any Southern Christmas playlist.
WATCH: Wes Brown's Latest Hallmark Movie was Inspired by His Wife Amanda's Southern Family
Brown also shared with us that while he enjoyed getting to explore the history of Natchez and experience the warm Southern hospitality of the folks in town, the shoot was a difficult one as they were filming when Hurricane Ida made landfall in his home state of Louisiana. "We definitely got some storms that rolled in, but it wasn't anything like they experienced. But we had a few days off, I'll just put it that way."
On one of those days off, Brown and one of the film's executive producers, Daniel Lewis, fueled by donations from the cast and crew, set off on a mission to help. "I think we drove down 300lbs of BBQ, 200 gallons of gas, and pretty much every supply that the Natchez Walmart had and just drove down a 10-passenger rider van and a gas truck from Natchez to just south of New Orleans and set up shop there and gave everything away. Tried to help out who we could," he shared.
Be sure to check out this love letter to Natchez, Mississippi. Every Time a Bell Rings is now streaming on Hallmark Movies NOW. It will also be airing on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries throughout the season.