Last night in Nashville, country’s worthy-of-the-buzz duo Maddie & Tae hosted an intimate preview of their upcoming debut album Start Here. Due August 28th on Dot Records, the full-length builds on the success of the Number One single “Girl in a Country Song” and its quickly climbing follow-up “Fly.” The pair performed both of those songs during an acoustic set of Start Here‘s key tracks for media and invited guests.
While the standout may have been Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye’s spirited version of the Mean Girls takedown “Sierra” — as much of a must-hear as “Girl in a Country Song” was upon its debut — a guest appearance by Lee Ann Womack illustrated the young singers’ trad-country influence. After recalling how they often covered Womack’s “A Little Past Little Rock” for tips on Nashville street corners, Maddie & Tae welcomed the Grammy-winning vocalist to the dimly lit stage for a duet on the 1998 hit. “Now this is the best part of the party,” Marlow beamed, setting up Womack’s solo verse.
Produced by Dann Huff, Start Here features 11 tracks, including “Girl in a Country Song,” which was officially certified platinum during the event, “Shut Up and Fish,” about the perils of fishing dates, and the poignant “Downside of Growing Up,” which embraces the awkwardness and self-doubt of adolescence. With Marlow and Dye barely out of their teens, the song stands as the emotional heart of Start Here.
Maddie & Tae are currently on the road with Dierks Bentley, but made time to attend Rolling Stone Country‘s one-year anniversary party earlier this week. They’ll return to Bentley’s Sounds of Summer Tour tomorrow in Fresno, and will launch their own club run in October.