Country duo Thompson Square plays Table Mountain Casino

The Fresno BeeFebruary 5, 2014 

Thompson Square stands out among the "bro-country" acts owning the airwaves. The husband-and-wife duo aren't into chasing trends.

"If you're going to be an artist, you're not going to chase anything," says Keifer Thompson, who has been playing music with his wife, Shawna Thompson, since 2002.

The pair have approached their music with an honest simplicity that allows them to buck trends. When they go into the studio it's "with the piano and writers and our voices," Keifer Thompson says by telephone from Nashville, where the band is rehearsing prior to leaving for its "Just Feels Good" tour. The tour is in town 8 p.m. Monday at Table Mountain Casino.

Those voices earned Thompson Square best vocal duo awards from all the major country music organizations — CMA, ACM, CMT and the ACA — in 2012.

It was a clean sweep.

By then, the group's 2010 self-titled debut already had three hit singles, including "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not," which was the most-heard song on country radio in 2011, according to Mediabase. It also topped the charts for sales and ringtone downloads and earned the group two Grammy nominations.

"That's a great way to start your career," Keifer says.

Of course, having such a strong debut is a bit like building a house and starting with the roof. With the group's sophomore album "Just Feels Good," the band is looking to build a foundation, too, he says.

So far, so good. Its first single, "If I Didn't Have You," was No. 1 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart (which lists the most songs, calculated weekly by airplay on country music stations). The album itself debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 when it was released in March. It was No. 4 on the top country albums chart.

The album is a mixture of personal pieces and the upbeat kind of fun stuff one expects from a mainstream country album, Keifer says. It's the kind of record he and his wife look for from others.

Musically, this is 2.0 version of Thompson Square, Keifer says, and a reflection of the growth the group has seen in the last three years.

"If you're not growing, you're dying," Keifer says. "It keeps us on our toes."

Show information

Thompson Square, 8 p.m. Monday at Table Mountain Casino. Tickets are $20-$40. Details: (800) 541-3637, www.tmcasino.com

 

This reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6479, jtehee@fresnobee.com or @joshuatehee on Instagram and Twitter.

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