Artist: The Rough & Tumble (Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler)
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Song: “Key of G”
Album: Only This Far
Release Date: May 12, 2023
In Their Words: “‘Key of G’ is an upbeat love song about taking it easy with your person and doing what comes naturally. It was written a couple months after we called it quits with drinking, in 2021. There was a daydream Mallory had years before that she documented in her journal, where it’s 11 p.m. in a small diner in the middle of nowhere and she’s on her 7th cup of coffee of the day, switched to decaf. For whatever reason, that image stuck with us, and became this strange idea to strive toward — where we were jittery with caffeine and writing and watching the world around us instead of cutting off our senses with a nightcap.
“While we don’t necessarily think of ourselves as ‘sober,’ knowing that term comes with its own implications, we instead have attached ourselves to the idea of ‘simpler.’ Sparkling water instead of a G&T. Popcorn instead of a fancy charcuterie board. While we are still mostly keeping our coffee to the morning — and usually to one or two cups a day — the romantic notion of coffee in the evening still stands. And now, instead of a jittery dressed-all-in-black tortured writer, we’re a couple of kids in love, still testing the boundaries, but in a way that’s good for who we are and what we make.
“It’s one of our favorites on the record because the band is just playing so well. It started out as more of a straightforward bluegrass tune at a family campground we pulled into one summer night, and you can still hear a lot of that in there between Mallory’s triplets on her banjulele and Scott’s acoustic guitar. We decided to shoot for more of a ‘classic country’ vibe though for this recording. We’re really glad we did as it gave us room for our producer, Dave Coleman, to play some of those hot licks on his Telecaster and have what Mallory called ‘a guitar fight’ with Scott. Chris Benelli’s drums and Telisha Williams’ bass set the tone and the pace, and give you some of that ‘stomp’ that every good country song has in its roots.” — The Rough & Tumble
Photo Credit: Annie Minicuci Fine Art Photography