I recently chatted with The Shires about their music and Ben Earle, one of the duet, mentioned that he felt U.K. Country acts were being seen as less of an embarrassing cousin in Nashville and that this was massively highlighted by the emergence of duets with respected US Country artists. The Shires have recently duetted with Lauren Alaina and Jimmie Allen on reworked Shires songs. Now, highly acclaimed UK Country artist Tim Prottey-Jones has released a brilliant new original song with “An Artist You Need To Know” , according to Rolling Stone Country, Stephanie Quayle.
You may not be able to place Tim’s name at the moment but he’s an artist we will be hearing a lot more of on the Country scene both here and Stateside. Founder member of Decca/Universal recording artist The Wandering Hearts, Tim left the band in 2019 to lay down the foundations of a solo career. His first two solo singles ‘Bite the Bullet’ and ‘Good Life’ released their exclusive first plays on The Country Music Show with Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2, almost a seal of approval and acclaim by itself. Both songs went on to receive critical acclaim from many other quarters.
Tim has shared the stage with Country legends like Chris Stapleton and Marty Stuart and played such hallowed venues as The Ryman Auditorium, The Bluebird Cafe and Graceland and, with his band, received his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2018. Now, out on his own, he was keen to record with an artist he holds in high regard, a duet that could continue to bridge the gap between the USA and UK Country music scenes. When he heard this song, written by top Nashville songwriter and friend Jeff Cohen and Grammy nominated Jamie Floyd and Steve McMorran, Tim knew on his first listen this would be the song. All he needed was the perfect duet partner to join him on a song about longing for future love and top of his list was Stephanie Quayle. Tim found the perfect partner to sing this song about the possibility of not finding the perfect love almost by fate when he discovered that Stephanie was a friend of songwriter Jeff Cohen. Sometimes finding true love is not so easy but we must never give up the search. Tim says of the song:
“For me, the song paints a picture of a search for a love that may never be realised. But what is worse? Searching and never finding that special person or not even trying to find the one? There’s a hope to the lyrics that I believe will speak to the listener as it did with me. It’s exactly what we need to hear. As people, as musicians, as lovers”.
Stephanie has just been inducted as one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” and has featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show as well as being hosted by the Grand Ole Opry numerous times. She has shared the stage with Country names like Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and LOCASH as well as Long Road Festival headliner Aaron Watson. Stephanie has a massive presence on country radio garnering over 100 million audience impressions and ranking Top 10 in Current Female Airplay with her stand out singles “Watcha Drinkin’Bout” and “Selfish”.
This was a match made in heaven and their vocals blend with seamless authenticity in their new duet “Until I Do” which manages to blend modern production while still remaining rooted in a nostalgic country sound. It’s no easy feat appealing to all corners of a genre like Country music but I feel this song can achieve a wide and appreciative audience even outside the genre. Songwriter Jeff Cohen was particularly pleased with the results:
“Tim and Stephanie are the perfect voices to bring this song into the world. They really capture the emotion we were hoping for when we wrote it.”
Despite finding the perfect duet partner, inevitably, the ongoing pandemic meant that teaming up was going to be a virtual affair with each artist recording remotely from separate continents. It’s incredible the chemistry they have created despite this forced distance and I can’t wait to see them sing it together one day. It just goes to prove that virtual chemistry can translate into something very powerful; something to keep in mind as we come gradually back together as lockdown eases. It’s a song that says keep trying, anything is possible! Stephanie says:
“Tim is an incredible artist and human and when he reached out about the opportunity to collaborate on his song ‘Until I Do’, it was an honour to be a part of it. We recorded all parts of this song across the pond from each other which was wild and magical. In a time where we all feel so separated, it’s amazing we were still able to bring this all together…even from thousands of miles away. I can’t wait to get back to the UK once travel is a bit safer and for us to play this song together!”
There is so much more to this collaboration than just a song, it’s a promise that there is a chance of brighter things to come and personally I can’t wait. Let’s hope this is a great introduction to the music of both of these outstanding artists.