It’s always fantastic to feature a new artist on Belles and Gals and the big question I have, is how did I miss them till now?! If you came along to the recent UK Country Music Spotlight Awards you would have seen Victoria and Geoff (who form the duo) presenting an award. We were lucky enough to catch up with them this week and have a chat!
Hi guys! It’s fantastic to feature you on Belles and Gals for the first time! Can you start by telling us a little bit about your back story?
We’ve both been gigging musicians for over 20 years. We met in a recording studio back in 1997 and have joined forces many times over the years for various projects. A few years ago, when the Nashville TV show became popular, Victoria had the idea of putting a tribute band together to play the songs from the show. She asked me to front it with her and we did a few gigs with that band. We often said we should write some country songs together as we’d both written over the years and, when we saw the British Airways / Nashville Music City competition come along in late 2017, we thought that would be a good thing to enter to get us going. We never thought for a moment we would win the competition and end up in Nashville for CMA Fest as our prize! After that we knew we had to pursue the songwriting and ’Tennessee Twin’ was born.
I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve been listening to your 2019 EP ‘Tips in a Jar’ almost on repeat since I heard it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It’s a fantastic body of work. Is there a particular track that you really enjoy playing live from the EP, or is that like asking who a favourite child is?
Thank you, we’re so glad you like it! That’s a tough one to answer but its probably ‘Alice’. It’s fun to play, the audience often sing along and it’s also the track that DJs often choose to play first when we send them the EP. All of those tracks mean something to us but, to play live, that one would probably be favourite.
The name ‘Tennessee Twin’ – how did that come about?
Hehe, well we’re not from Tennessee and we’re not Twins to get those options out of the way! It actually came about as a happy accident as so many band names do. Around the time we were putting our duo together we were walking through airport duty free in the US and they had a special on two bottles of Jack Daniel’s in a pack and called it ‘A Tennessee Twin’. So basically we’re named after a duty free special offer on whiskey!
I’m gonna be cheeky now and split you up as a duo! And ask each of you, which ‘dream’ artist would you like to sing with? (I hope this doesn’t cause arguments!)
Well, we’re going to be cheeky right back and pick a lady and a man each in that case Slightly smiling face
Victoria: If it were a lady my choice would be Jennifer Nettles. I think she has the most powerful voice in country music and to match her in a duet would be a real challenge. For a man I’d choose Shane McAnally. His song writing is amazing, he’s a very gentle and heartfelt singer and has a superb voice.
Geoff: Thinking about a man it would have to be Charlie Worsham. He is exactly the sort of musician I aspire to be. A great songwriter, singer and guitarist and you always feel he is being ‘real’. For a lady it would be Ashley McBryde. I fell in love with her songs and with her as a performer at first listen. We’ve seen her many times live and look forward to seeing her again later this year.
To finish, tell us something about your plans for 2020!
We have such a busy year planned! Next stop for gigs is the Unplugged & Unleashed event with Kezia Gill, Gareth Nugent and Simon Birds in Cambridge on March 19th. Then we have a couple of Live In The Living Room dates including the wonderful Bedford in Balham. Country On The Coast will be our first festival of the year with two more that we’re sworn to secrecy about as we write this! We’re currently working on a full album for the summer, then we return to Nashville in November for a week of gigs there. Needless to say we can’t wait!