"Do You Still" from the self-titled EP
Off the top of the head, important husband-and-wife duos from the world of popular music include Jack and Meg White, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, J-Lo and Marc Anthony, Johnny and June Carter Cash, John and Christine McVie, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz, John Lennon and Yoko Ono ... who else?
Country act Shannon and Adam Wright — a.k.a. The Wrights.
"On the first night I met Adam, we sang with each other, and the moment we heard our voices, we were like, 'Whoa! Wait a minute!'" says singer/guitarist Shannon Wright of her husband and bandmate. "It was really good. He's my very favorite person to sing with. I love the way his voice sounds with mine. There's a little connection that we're not trying for but is still there. The initial compatibility made us wanna keep doing it and keep doing it.
"It's so consuming and constant," she adds. "It's what we do. We have to be careful and put on different hats sometimes. It's tricky and you have to work at it, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's what we've done since we started ... We don't know what else to do [laughs]."
Adam and Shannon both grew up in small towns south of Atlanta — he grew up in Newnan and she came up in LaGrange. Both embraced music from an early age (Adam's uncle is country singer Alan Jackson). They met at a gig in Atlanta in 1998 and relocated to Nashville in 2002. They've been married for over four years.
One early triumph in the Music City was landing an opening slot for Loretta Lynn at the Grand Ole Opry.
One of their originals, "If Love Was a River," and another song of Adam's, "Strong Enough," both appeared on Jackson's 2004 album, What I Do.
They collaborated with producers Keith Stegall and John Kelton for 2005's impressive debut Down This Road, released on Jackson's ACR label in conjunction with RCA. Since then, they've stayed extremely busy.
"After Down This Road, we toured quite a bit around the country with a four-piece backing band. We've probably played more outside of Nashville than we did inside Nashville," says Adam.
"We try to play and sing as much as we can together," adds Shannon. "We try to focus on harmonies and simple songwriting. We've always listened to and loved different kinds of music, and we feel like that comes across. We've always gravitated toward the traditional elements in a lot of roots music."
American Songwriter magazine is sponsoring the three-act showcase of The Wrights, Stephen Simmons, and Jason Eady at the Village Tavern on Fri. Feb. 1
Based in Nashville, singer/guitarist Simmons is on the road in support of a brand-new release titled Something in Between — recently issued by Rounder Europe Records as well. Simmon's rich voice works well over the organic blend of contemporary Americana, '70s country-rock, and classic guitar-pop.
Armed with a new studio album called Wild Eyed Serenade, Austin, Texas-based singer/guitarist Jason Eady takes time away from his band The Wayward Apostles for the tour. His songs jump in styles from country and blues to gospel and rock.
"The idea was that it could be a neat, compatible combination on tour and things just came together," says Shannon.