January 11, 2011 at 11:11 am , by Ron Kelly
You know it’s a good day at the office when multiple staffers report getting the chills and having the hair on their arms stand up during a guest musical performance. So far the count is up to three thanks to Steel Magnolia’s Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones, who stopped by the LHJ offices yesterday on the eve of the release of their self-titled debut CD. The album is a fun, fresh-sounding collection of addicting tunes featuring their trademark powerhouse vocals, which have just garnered them a second ACM Top New Vocal Duo or Group nomination. (Fan voting begins on Thursday, January 27, at VoteACM.com.)
“We wanted to make a record that people would leave in their player for six months. To have on repeat,” Jones says of the debut record (in stores today), which is the result of a multifaceted relationship formed years ago with Linsey when they were both solo artists in Nashville. The duo penned the song “Edge of Goodbye” with a mutual friend and had started performing it together at writers nights when Steel Magnolia began to blossom. “People had to tell us, ‘You guys are great together. You should be a duo,’ ” Linsey remembers. “We were just, like, huh? I don’t think you ever think about that as a solo artist. You really have to push your ego aside and [think about] what’s the best thing for the music and the sound.”
The switch in career focus from me to us was admittedly tricky for Jones as well. “I had to check my ego, man,” he says. “I had my own band and I had to kind of swallow a dose of, okay, she makes things sound a lot better. She makes things better for me. In a duo or in a relationship, if you’re really going to make things work you have to start putting the other person first. When two people can come together, agree to do that and start working toward the same goal, that’s when the magic starts. It’s a real blessing that we found a sound—our sound—together.”
“It’s funny,” Linsey adds, “now I can’t even imagine being on stage without him. I’d feel naked. It’s a weird thing.” Weird, maybe. Entertaining, definitely. Their nabbing the second season title of CMT’s Can You Duet is a testament to that. And you can also watch their performance at LHJ and judge for yourself.
Continue on after the jump to read about everything from the surprises you can expect from their live shows to their dream musical collaborations, the one thing that really drives Jones crazy and what he says you should never underestimate about Linsey.