MEET THE BAND: Trey Smith (vocals, guitar) and Jennifer Fiedler (vocals)
CHILDHOOD FRIENDS: Smith and Fiedler have known each other since they were kids. When Smith's rock band split up, he reached out to Fiedler to see if she wanted to form a country duo. "He asked me to start singing together, and I wasn't on board at first," admits Fiedler. "He came over and we started playing music together and discovered that we have this unique blend of vocal harmonies. That's what makes us special. There aren't a lot of guy/girl duos. You think all their songs will be love songs. We like love songs, but we want to do something different." They started writing songs for what they thought would be their debut, but their record label folded and the album didn't come out. Undeterred, they revisited some of the songs for the self-titled EP they issued last year.
A VARIETY OF INFLUENCES: Smith grew up on rock 'n' roll, and Fielder grew up on traditional country. "We have a good mix of all that stuff," says Smith. "I love the Goo Goo Dolls, and they were a big inspiration." Fiedler describes herself as a "'90s country fan." "My all-time favorite is Faith Hill," she says. "I also like LeAnn Rimes and Shania Twain and that whole era of strong females. My first concert was 'NSync, and I love pop music too. You can hear the pop in our music too."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The duo co-wrote the songs on its self-titled debut, an EP that came out two years ago. "We chose the best songs that represented us in the best way," says Smith. The power ballad "Hey Whiskey" puts Fielder's voice up front in the mix. "That line popped in my head, and I brought it into the boys," says Fiedler. "The melody I wrote was terrible, and we didn't use that. But the guys pointed out that there were a million songs about whiskey and country music. We wanted to make it different, and it was a team effort. It's got some real depth to it and I think that's why it strikes a chord with so many people." The rousing "Nothing But the Night" shows off the band's ability to mix genres. "We wanted something sexy and fun," says Smith when asked about the tune. "We wanted something more fun, and we added this banjo to it. We love the groove of it."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: smithfieldmusic.com
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM:
Smithfield performs with Steve Moakler on the Highway Finds Tour at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, at House of Blues.