Your Take: What Makes A Great Country Duo?
It’s been a while since we served up our last Your Take, which asks for our readers’ thoughts on the people, progress and problems in today’s country music. Each discussion will ask a question based on a contextual and timely scenario garnered from a blog post, comment or news item on The 9513 that week. Look for the post to return as a weekly feature each weekend, and be sure to check in and give us your two cents.
In one of Brody’s news roundups this week, CMT announced Can You Duet is holding open auditions in Nashville on March 7 for the second season of its popular singing competition.
So far, season one has produced two standout duos: winners Caitlin & Will, who signed with Columbia Records and just sent its first single to radio, and Joey + Rory, whose Vanguard/Sugar Hill debut made our Top 10 Country Albums of 2008.
Joey + Rory came into the competition as a husband and wife team, serving up love songs so intimate I sometimes felt like a voyeuristic intruder. Caitlin & Will, on the other hand, had never met before the contest began and were spliced together by judges Naomi Campbell, Amiee Mayo and Brett Manning after several failed pairings with other competitors.
An argument could be made that Caitlin & Will’s love songs can’t contain the emotion, vulnerability or connection of those written and performed by a duo formed in a less contrived way. On the other hand, Brooks and Dunn, who won more Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards than any other country act in history, was put together by Arista Nashville exec Tim DuBois.
We want your take: Can a duo assembled by a reality show or record label based solely on marketability be as believable and/or successful as pairings connected by marriage, blood or long-time friendship? If you were a music exec, what two artists (of any genre) would you combine to make country music’s next great duo?
Also, in his review of Caitlin & Will’s single “Even Now,” Pierce mentioned standout duets like Tammy and George, Johnny and June, and Conway and Loretta. What duo is your favorite pairing of all time, and what special connection makes them believable as a duet?
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