The husband and wife duo Keifer and Shawna Thompson make up Thompson Square. Keifer, from Oklahoma, and Shawna, from Alabama, both growing up in rural small towns, moved to Nashville the exact same week, met at a singing competition, and have been inseparable since. In 2010, they released their first single, Let’s Fight. They are the only established married duo to ever receive ACM Vocal Duo of the year, which they received for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. Their self titled debut album contains the double platinum hit Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not, “When you smiled and said to me, ‘Are you gonna kiss me or not?’” telling the story of their initial smooch. I Got You, and Glass, among other songs reveal their frisky interest in each other. Thompson Square puts no veil on their marriage – that is what makes their songs unique. Combining classic rock and country, they put their 13-year marriage on display in each song day after day, night after night, song after song. Like any marriage, a good, healthy argument is bound to happen. As Bad As It Gets is a tribute to this couple not being above hashing out their romantic conflicts, accusing each other of stereotypical faults, “You always make us late messing with your make-up,” while still remaining in love, “You know you drive me crazy but we're gonna make it.”
Telling the story about their journey to Nashville, falling for each other, making the marriage work through life on the road, their sophomore album, Just Feels Good, continues their story, evolved on its own, mixing their personal and professional lives. It explains who the Thompsons are and where they are at the present point in their life and music career. The first single off of the album, If I Didn’t Have You delivers a big, honest, desperately in love message, “If you didn't love me so much I'd never make it through,” while For The Life of Me is a rhythmic duet debate of who deserves who more, “I'm so like an old farm pick-up truck and you deserve a limousine,” when of course they are meant to be. The album covers every angle of their relationship, from the romantic but flirtatious Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About to marital bliss of the mesmerizingly smooth Home Is You. Much like any healthy relationship, Thompson Square is full of ups and downs, twists and turns – the fun, exciting, emotional rollercoaster of life. Relive this couples’ romantic journey live this Sunday on the River Stage at 8:00!
We sat down with the Keifer Thompson prior to this weekend's Buckle Up Music Festival!
Tell us about your songwriting process..
That's kinda all over the map. A lot of the time I'll go in with a guitar thing or some hook that I love without any lyric. Something that makes me want to hear more. Then just let us take it where it wants to go if we don't already have an idea. Sometimes having a great lyrics hook or idea is a little easier to write. It's a little like fishing. You have the hook and you go fishing for the perfect melody and guitar thing to go with it.
What has been your most memorable experience on the road thus far?
Wow. Here are so many it's hard to pick just one. one that sticks out was when we first got started. We were playing Grand Rapids at this outdoor show and when we started "Kiss Me" the crowd went crazy and started singing with us. It was so loud I couldn't hear anything on stage. I looked over at Shawna and said. " holy ..... they are singing our song".
Any suggestions for local Cincinnati musicians on “hitting the big time”….
Move to Nashville. You really have to commit to this thing and get to where the gettins at to be where you wanna be. There are so many great writers producers and players here. In my opinion, the best are here. So if you want to be as good as you can be, you have to surround yourself with people you can learn from. iI's tough leaving your comfort zone but sacrifice is required in order to have success. No risk no reward as they say. It's true.