By Robert Herrington
Since being signed to Stoney Creek Records in 2010, Thompson Square has released two albums which have produced eight singles on the country charts and two No. 1 hits: “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” and “If I Didn’t Have You.”
“It’s been busy, it’s been a whirlwind,” said Keifer Thompson. “I’ve never had a dream come true before so it’s weird being able to live that.”
The husband and wife duo of Shawna and Keifer Thompson also have two Grammy nominations and have won seven country music associations awards. The next stop for the rising musicians is Jan. 30 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, 4500 Dan Patch Circle, Anderson.
“The energy and style of show (Bruce) Springsteen puts out, that’s what we try to emulate. It’s the attention to not playing the scene, it’s very raw and about the songs, about singing and the audience and making people disappear for awhile.”
Keifer said guests should enter without a preconceived notion of what a Thompson Square concert is like.
“It’s loud. We have a lot of fun with a lot of different stuff,” he said. “We have fun and laugh on stage and that translates to the crowd and we’ve seen the response and the reaction from the crowd is absolutely intoxicating.”
Keifer said always having his wife and best friend around makes his job fun.
“I go out and do stuff with the guys sometimes but for the most part I kind of like the arrangement,” he said. “It actually works for us. We’re partners in life and in music. It’s a great mix.” Keifer said.
Surreal is how Keifer describes hearing one of Thompson Square’s songs on the radio.
“It doesn’t feel real. It’s been extremely challenging to get where we are at and it’s a blessing,” he said. “We listen to the songs. We don’t turn the channel because it is such an accomplishment … It’s just the best feeling in the world. I can’t explain it.”
What artists are Keifer listening to? He said recently he’s been immersed in The Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Springsteen and Patti LaBelle.
“A lot of blues too,” he said. “Last night (Jan. 19) we were partying listening to bluegrass all night – Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss – all bunch of different stuff … I just love the fact that we can appreciate all kinds of music, it’s not just one thing. There’s a lot of great music out there. We love people that can sing. It’s not perfect and you hear emotion in the lyrics and you hear a note crack every once in awhile because they are going for it. Just stuff like that.”
His musical tastes are “all over the map” including Eminem at the gym. Keifer said one of his biggest influences growing up was Stevie Ray Vaughn.
“I listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn all the time still,” he said. “I can’t play guitar very well so he was a huge influence on me. No one played like him. No one sang like him. I still go back and listen to all of his records all the time.
Thompson Square plans to write, record and take time off before announcing summer plans in March.
“We’re putting pen to paper and coming up with some of the best songs of our lives and I think we’ve accomplished that. We’ve got four songs already and we’re getting ready to have a listening party,” said Keifer. “You can get caught up and lose yourself. We didn’t want to do that and so went back and wrote the album we wanted to write and show a different side of Thompson Square. I think we’ve accomplished that. We’re jacked, the label’s jacked. I just can’t wait to get some new music out there.”
Thompson Square ● 8:30 p.m. Jan. 30 ● The Terrace Showroom at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, 4500 Dan Patch Circle, Anderson ● Tickets starting at $30 ● www.hoosierpark.com/upcomingentertainment.html