"Keifer is my life. Without him I'm not sure what I would do. He's the one that really keeps me going. I can be down and out and see his smile or hear his laugh and it makes everything ok," says the Miss from Mississippi , later raised in Laton Hill , Alabama . "I'm not sure who I would be or what I would be without my love for music that God, Keifer and my family has given me."
"God, Shawna, family and music." agrees Keifer, who was born with the luck of the Irish upon St. Patrick's Day in Miami , Oklahoma . "I've been playing guitar and singing since I was a little kid. I guess it really hit me seriously at around 14. I dabbled with just about everything, guitar, a little harp, and a little mandolin. I've learned everything I know from ear and watching others play. I had a great childhood, and am very close to my parents, but I’m not sure where I got the music bug from. No one in my family has ever been musical. Maybe someone's not telling me something?"
Shawna's upbringing, however, was the flip side, she and Keifer meeting at the crossroads of Nashville from completely different walks of life...
"My Dad is a huge music lover as well as a musician and singer. He has been my biggest influence, musically. I probably would have never pursued music as a career, if it weren't for him. He and I performed in various bands together when I was growing up, and in my teen years, I started performing with my own regional band in Mobile , Alabama . Everything I know about music, I've learned from my Dad, my high school band director and Nashville." she reminiscences. "I was about 4 years old and for Christmas, I asked for a hand held recorder. I would record everything! Television shows like Knight Rider, myself talking to myself, and my Dad singing gospel hymns and playing the banjo at the kitchen table.. I would always join in. He taught me the old gospel hymn ‘Coming Home’ and I recorded us singing it together. It is the coolest thing ever to listen to, now. Every time I listen, it makes me laugh! So, I guess that was my moment of falling in love with music and singing."
...but from then on their path was one and the same, with love the fuel that was to push them onward.
"Our thing that we do is unique because we are married and making music together." says Shawna.
"Fell in love with singing together," Keifer adds.
"When we are singing a love song, we sing it from the heart. That's kind hard for Brooks and Dunn! Right? A married duet in country music has never really happened! I mean you have June and Johnny and George and Tammy, but they had their own individual careers. They came together after individual success. So, we want to change that."
"We signed a new publishing deal this year. Very exciting! Every ounce of me believes in what I do, and the music I make, and I appreciate every accomplishment that's granted."
"We were both pursuing individual deals, but, occasionally, we would sing together. When we did, every one would ask why we had not done a record together. We finally listened and made the Thompson Square record. It's a chance for people to hear our music and, hopefully, they enjoy it as much as we enjoy making it. Things are looking up, I'm living my dream everyday!"
Shawna then adds with a laugh, "Though a Grammy or a CMA award would be nice."
Though their talent and dedication could very well see them, someday, holding such an award, in the end, when everything is said and done, they are one another's prize and what they do is it's own reward.
"Playing and writing and recording are not only hobbies, but a lifestyle," states Keifer.
"A lot of people don't understand why artist and musicians choose this way of life. I think when you are a true artist or musician you eat, sleep and breathe it. That is our life and we love what we do. Music makes our lives go round."
"It means everything."