In 2006, the Wreckers – the country duo of Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp – released their one and only studio album, Stand Still, Look Pretty, a record of sharply written and performed pop country that yielded the Grammy-nominated Number One single “Leave the Pieces.” Amid band discord, Branch and Harp abruptly split up in 2007 and maintained only minimal contact. Talking to Rolling Stone earlier this year for a feature on her solo album Hopeless Romantic, Branch said she hadn’t spoken with Harp in 10 years.
“I haven’t seen her since 2007, since our last show, where we wore sunglasses onstage and didn’t make eye contact. It was so terrible,” Branch said. “It was really emotional. We went to mediation toward the end, and the mediator was like, ‘You two can’t work together.’ I don’t know how it got to that point.”
Last night, however, the pair publicly mended fences during the Nashville stop of Branch’s solo tour. Halfway through her set, which touched on hits from throughout her career, including 2001’s “All You Wanted” and her collaboration with Santana, “The Game of Love,” Branch welcomed Harp to the stage to perform a pair of Wreckers songs. It wasn’t a surprise – Branch told the Tennessean last week that she and Harp would reunite – but the crowd ate it up, visibly moving the singers.
Backed by just the female members of Branch’s touring group – the band also includes Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, who produced Hopeless Romantic – Branch and Harp traded verses on “Leave the Pieces” around a single mic, before dismissing the other musicians for a heartfelt reading of “Tennessee,” written by Harp for Stand Still, Look Pretty.
The reunion was billed as a one-night-only event, but the warm crowd response was such that it’d have to make the pair at least think of doing it again. For her part, Branch told Rolling Stone in February that she was open to another Wreckers-type project.
“We were on such a good little run. I didn’t want us to break up,” she said. “But I’d love to do a project that is sonically in that world again.”
Branch’s tour hits Ohio for a pair of shows this weekend, along with a stop in Louisville, Kentucky.