Nashville based husband-wife country duo The Dryes have gotten off to quite the hot start since their debut single was released in May of 2018.
That single, “Amen,” quickly landed on Rolling Stone’s “Top 10 Best Country Songs of the Week” upon its release, and later that same year, their song “War,” a deeply personal song to the duo, was released, and has since earned well over two million streams on Spotify, and its music video has touched the hearts of thousands more.
Since the release of “Amen,” the duo has featured sounds that have ranged from contemporary country to reggae, and with their newest single “Take You Dancin’,” they showcase a “honky,” 90s country sound and plenty of steel guitar throughout.
Read along as Derek and Katelyn discuss their influences, having success right out of the gate with “Amen,” the importance of “War” to them, the inspiration behind “Take You Dancin’” and how it is kicking off their “honky” 2020 and more!
Pro Country: Who are some of your biggest musical influences that have shaped your sound?
Derek: Well, I grew up on artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pearl Jam and Tom Petty. They have definitely shaped my playing and bringing a little bit of raw feeling into country music. We love Brooks & Dunn, and so many others honestly.
Katelyn: Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Johnny & June, and even Old Dominion have been artists that we listen to and love their sound.
PC: What emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release music for the first time with your single “Amen”?
Katelyn: I remember the week before it came out, I thought to myself and said to Derek, “Well, here it is. We are about to release our first song. I hope people like it,” [laughs]. Luckily, people have seemed to like it 🙂
PC: “Amen” was mentioned among the “Top 10 Best Country Songs of the Week” on Rolling Stone when it was released. Is there a certain level of validation that comes with earning that recognition with your debut single so quickly?
Derek: It’s unreal that it happened with our very first release. It definitely brought some great attention, but more so, it struck a fire to keep creating and evolving as artists. I suppose it keeps you going strong when you have a win like that.
PC: “Simple Truth” is our favorite song on your debut EP Vol. 1. Can you talk about the inspiration behind that song?
Katelyn: That’s awesome! Thank you. Derek had the song idea, and we really just wanted to tell our story. The beautiful thing about love is that it’s a risk; that’s the simple truth. We made a pretty sexy song out of it too [laughs].
PC: “War” has become your signature song so far, amassing well over 2 million streams on Spotify since its release. What has that success meant to you? Does the very personal nature of the song and video make that success even more special?
Derek: Well, honestly the whole thing still blows me away; how a song that was written right before the studio made it on the EP, and then finding those VHS tapes of mom just a couple months later. It was obvious that they were related events and that we had to try to put them together somehow. That’s how the video got made. If you haven’t seen that, it tells the whole story of the song with some pretty vivid/sweet memories. I can’t even take credit for it, and I’m honored to be a part of something that has created healing for my family. The success of the song is the cherry on top.
PC: Your newest single “Take You Dancin’” features a sound that lands somewhere between a contemporary and 90s country sound. Can you talk about the influence you were drawing on sonically for that song?
Derek: We love honky country music & wanted to capture that vibe. For the song, we wanted to paint the picture of the ultimate dive bar. Our co-writers Parker Welling and Greg Bates came up with some awesome descriptives about a dive bar pinewood floor with peanut dust and barflies. It’s got this two-step vibe, but somehow it feels like a drivin’ song too. This is a taste of what’s to come from us and we are really excited.
PC: With your three latest singles, you have tapped into contemporary country, reggae and 90s country sounds. How important has it been for you to showcase your artistic versatility with those releases?
Katelyn: It’s all a part of the influences we’ve had growing up and it’s so important when we are writing songs in hopes that our music would make someone feel nostalgic, smile, cry, or turn up on the beach with friends while on vacation. So many songs were a part of my life and we want the same for our listeners!
Derek: Yeah, nowadays its common to hear so many influences just in one playlist. While we remain inherently country, we’ve covered a lot of ground thus far. I will say though, for 2020, its gonna get pretty honky!
PC: What are your plans for 2020?
Dryes: We are hard at work about to release a lot of new music. “Take You Dancin’” is the start. We are also playing a show at The Basement in Nashville, TN on Monday, February 3rd. Doors open at 6PM, show starts at 7PM. We hope to get on a fall tour as well.