Tuesday, 11 October, 2011 12:06 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Thompson
credit: Lynette Garbonola
country duo Thompson Square
2011 CMA Close Up News Service
Every vocal duo is a
story still being told. And when the members have a personal as
well as musical bond, it’s often about two roads starting
at different places before joining as one highway of song.
So it is with Keifer
Thompson and Shawna Thompson, a.k.a. Thompson Square. His path began
in Miami, Okla., where he grew up on Merle Haggard, Roger Miller,
Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as well as heavy metal and even
punk. Meanwhile, Alabama, Reba and Shawna’s guitarist father’s
music nurtured Keifer’s future wife in tiny Chatom, Ala.
Fate guided them to Nashville
during the same week, where they met at a vocal competition days
after they’d arrived. When she beat him at pool, their plans
of solo success began giving way to dreams of finding it as a duo.
Shawn Pennington of Matchless
Management became their manager after hearing them at a local club.
Days later, he arranged a showcase for the staff at Stoney Creek
Records, who put them in the studio with producers Kurt Allison,
David Fanning, Tully Kennedy and Rich Redmond of New Voice Entertainment.
They would emerge with their self-titled debut, featuring 12 songs,
nine of them co-written by one or both Thompsons.
Each pushes the other
toward a middle ground where their aesthetics merge. Their first
single, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” (written by Jim
Collins and David Lee Murphy), is a great example of their process,
exploding at the top like a Springsteen power lick, yet when they
hit the chorus, Shawn’s pristine voice hardens to complement
Keifer’s gig-toughened delivery. This mirrors what they do
on “Glass” (Ross Copperman and Jon Nite), where Keifer’s
harmony nestles next to Shawna’s fragile, heartfelt lead.
In performance as in life, their union is obviously meant to be.
IN THEIR OWN
ITEMS FOR YOUR PERSONAL
BOTH “Our laptops,
Keifer’s Harley boots, tape recorder, lyric sheets and photo
FAVORITE MODE OF
LIKE TO RELIVE
KEIFER “The proposal.”
SHAWNA “The day
we got married.”
NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
KEIFER “I buy book
after book because I love the idea of going to bookstores and reading,
but most never get finished.”
obsessed with Hello Kitty.”
On the Web: www.ThompsonSquare.com
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