Thompson Square: Not your typical country duoShawna Thompson dreamed of being a country music star since she was 4 years old.
By: Emma DeJong, The Daily Republic
Shawna Thompson dreamed of being a country music star since she was 4 years old.
She grew up in Chatom, Ala., and her guitar-playing father instilled in her a love of country music legends like Reba McEntire and Alabama.
Keifer Thompson grew up in Miami, Okla., listening to everything from punk rock to heavy metal to country.
Keifer and Shawna moved to Nashville the same week in 1996. They met at a singing competition, dated for three years and then got married.
They continued working on their solo careers for four or five years, Keifer said, until they considered a new idea.
“We found we didn’t like not being together all the time,” Keifer said.
So, they became “Thompson Squared.”
The name changed to “Thompson Square” because people often missed the “d,” and the chart-topping duo was launched.
Thompson Square is one of the four headliners to play at the Corn Palace Festival this year. Their show is at 7 p.m. today.
Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling said he expects to see about 1,500 people at the concert. As of Wednesday, he said about 1,200 tickets were sold.
“That’s right about where we were expecting and what we were hoping for, so I think we’re looking to have a great show,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of people right now calling in, buying tickets and hearing more about it.”
The duo’s debut album, “Thompson Square,” was released in February 2011 and scored four hit singles: “Let’s Fight,” “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” “I Got You” and “Glass.”
They have won three American Country awards, one Academy of Country Music award and one CMT Music award, and they have been nominated for several others.
One reason they have been successful, the couple said, is because they are unique.
Keifer said there “really aren’t other married couple duos.” That gives the couple something extra, they said.
“The fact that we can actually sing a love song and actually mean it is a cool thing to be able to do,” Shawna said.
Thompson Square also stands out because of the different musical styles Keifer and Shawna combine. Keifer sings with soulful passion, and Shawna adds her smooth, power-house vocals.
They are working on their second album right now, planning to finish it in November, Keifer said, and hoping for a spring release.
“It’s mostly rap,” Keifer said, joking.
Then, more serious: “I think it’s going to be more diverse,” he said. “There’s going to be some real rocking; there might be a few extra ballads.”
Right now, their future plans are to keep making music, continue doing shows and spending as much time with one another as possible. When asked about having kids, Shawna was quick to respond.
“We have a puppy right now,” she said. “He’s a handful, so I don’t know if we’re quite ready for babies on the road.”
Neither Keifer or Shawna has seen the Corn Palace. They said they are excited for that, and added that fans should be excited for a “rockin’” show.
“If they expect a boring, married couple to sing songs up there, it’s definitely not that,” Keifer said. “We try to give our fans the best show we can.”