It’s been about seven years since Kelley Mickwee released her solo debut album, You Used to Live Here, but it’s not as if the songwriter hasn’t remained busy. A quarter of the luminous harmonies in The Trishas, Mickwee is most often seen these days alongside her Shiny Soul Sister Alice Spencer providing the backing soul vocals for Shinyribs.
The recent touring slowdown allowed her to focus once more on her own songwriting though, and she releases the first taste of those efforts this week with the single “Boomtown To Bust” b/w “Let’s Just Pretend (We’re Holding Hands).” Both songs were co-written with Ben Jones and Mickwee brought in Dan Dyer to duet and provide harmonies. She teamed with Jonathan Tyler to produce the tunes.
“When things came to a halt in 2020, I really had some time to think and zero in on what I wanted to do next,” Mickwee offers. “I had a batch of songs written and enough dough saved to get into the studio again, but wasn’t sure when or where. I was driving around town back in May and heard a Jonathan Tyler song come on Sun Radio and thought, that’s it, I really should go record some tunes with Jonathan. I have always been a fan of his and have really loved the records he’s been making in his home studio, Clyde’s VIP Room. We recorded these two in just a few days, and then went back in last month to record two more. I really have enjoyed doing it that way, two singles at a time. Feels kinda old school. And I can also really focus in on the tunes without being overwhelmed with a whole record’s worth of songs at once.”
Although only cutting a couple songs at a time, the tentative plan is an entire album of duets with Mickwee and Dyer. The two are a natural complement, Mickwee’s brassy, but subtle soul shaded by Dyer’s twanging tenor for a marvelous throwback country sound that bursts with a playful adventurousness.
“Dan and I have thrown around the idea of a duets album for years, and in lockdown two things happened: one is we both sat down to write some duet songs both separately and together, and two is that we also each had a shift in priorities, and realized we’d probably need to put the duets album on hold for now,” acknowledges Mickwee. “I didn’t want to let these two to just sit around, so I went ahead and cut ‘em, with Dan singing harmony on ‘Boomtown To Bust’. That said, we wrote a tune together called “Don’t Miss You at Austin” and it was one of the two in the second round cut with Jonathan last month. It’s a duet with Dan and we are gonna release it in November. So, long story short, we have a duet single coming out and if folks seem to respond well to it, we’ll do more!”
“Boomtown To Bust” serves up a mesmerizing waltz between Mickwee and Dyer, twirling through tropes of love that’s lost its luster. Reckless Kelly’s Cody Braun adds fiddle and Marty Muse lays down the steel for the song. You can listen to the premier of the new single below.
In the meantime, Mickwee will continue playing with the Shinyribs tribe as she also expands her solo outings. You can catch her playing the inaugural Omega Series with Wendy Colonna and Barbera Nesbitt outside the All Saints Episcapol Church by the UT Campus this Thursday, Sept. 30. She’ll also be hitting the road in a couple months with the Red River Songwriters, which includes Walt Wilkins, Drew Kennedy, Susan Gibson, and Josh Grider, and will be celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2022.
This content was originally published here.