Travelling the world, telling their stories and singing their songs that make people laugh and cry are what hit songwriters Thom and Coley love to do! Both of them were writing for Nashville publishing companies in the same building when they met and their first date was a Deryl Dodd Show at the Blue Bar in Nashville on April Fool’s Day, 2011. Relocating to Texas later that year and they were married by Elvis in Las Vegas on October 23rd, 2015. Coley McCabe Shepherd is a platinum-selling songwriter from West Virginia and has performed numerous times on the Grand Ole Opry. She recorded her song “Grow Young With You” while on RCA and it was featured in the Natalie Portman/Ashley Judd Film “Where The Heart Is”. Some of her writing credits include the award winning group SheDaisy and legendary Loretta Lynn and she also starred in the feature film “Alabama Love Story”. Her Husband Thom Shepherd is original from St. Louis, Missouri and is the writer of two number one country songs (“Riding with Private Malone” and “Redneck Yacht Club”), three Texas Music number ones (“Beer Season”, “My Texas” and “The Night is Young”) and has had over 100 songs recorded by other artists, two of which were on Grammy nominated albums and multiple top ten hits nationwide and in Texas. Thom appears in “The Parrot Heads Documentary” with Jimmy Buffet. The duo’s latest release is upcoming album “Shotgun”.
This heartfelt classic country sound is bringing the thunder to this growing genre, and taking everyone by storm. Thom’s voice is smooth and relaxing, and you can tell that he has a love and a passion for this music. With a beat that is unforgettable and lyrics that are meaningful and personal this song is going to be a hit country song, bringing back a timeless sound. I love the way Thom and Coley’s voices complement the others, and the harmonies that they have generated are breath taking. Watching the music video for this song brought tears to my eyes, reminding me of all the love that I’ve experienced from owning an animal, and it really helps tell the story behind the lyrics, with multiple photos of animals finding their forever homes. Coley’s voice is sensual and serene and she fills each lyric with emotion. This pair really knows how to draw their listeners in and it is clear to see why they have award winning songs that they have written and that they were put on this earth to make music with each other. “Forever Home” is touching and is a song that I highly suggest you add to your daily playlist as it really connects with the listener.
Listen to "Forever Home" here, and don't miss out on Thom and Coley's interview below!
Hey Thom and Coley! Fantastic to catch up with you! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Here's a bit about us:
We were both writing for Nashville publishing companies in the same building when we met. Our first date was a Deryl Dodd show at the Blue Bar in Nashville on April Fool’s Day, 2011. We relocated to Texas later that year and were married by Elvis in Las Vegas on October 23rd, 2015. Coley McCabe is a platinum-selling songwriter who hails from West Virginia. She has performed numerous times on the Grand Ole Opry. While on RCA Records her song “Grow Young With You” was featured in the Natalie Portman / Ashley Judd film, “Where The Heart Is,” Her writing credits include the award winning group SheDaisy and legendary Loretta Lynn. She also starred in the feature film “Alabama Love Story.”CMA of Texas Songwriter of the Year Thom Shepherd is originally from St. Louis, MO, is the writer of two number one country songs, “Riding with Private Malone” and “Redneck Yacht Club,” three Texas Music number ones, “Beer Season,” “My Texas,” and “The Night Is Young,” has had over 100 songs recorded by other artists, two songs on Grammy nominated albums, and multiple top ten hits nationwide and in Texas. He appears in “The Parrot Heads Documentary” with Jimmy Buffett. He is also the current Trop Rock Music Association Songwriter of the Year.
What difference have you noticed in the style of music from Nashville to Texas or even to that of your hometowns?
Texas has it's own style, which I love - it's more Americana, rootsier sounding and edgier than Nashville, especially these days. What I love about Nashville, at least when I lived there, was the great songwriting. These days Nashville has gotten very drum loop and r&b influenced and I miss the stuff that sounds really country, although there are still guys doing that like Cody Johnson, who is actually from Texas. Before Coley and I moved to Nashville, all we knew was mostly what we heard on mainstream country radio. But we are both music fanatics and have discovered this whole other world out there of incredible musicians over the years. Not just in Texas, but all over. And these last few years in our travels we have discovered this whole world of music called Trop Rock, which is like Jimmy Buffett's music. It's not really rock at all, it's tropical influenced singer songwriter type stuff. We love it. I am the Trop Rock Music Association Songwriter of the Year. Our new album Shotgun has several songs that are solidly in that genre but it also has a mix of country and Americana too.
What is the meaning behind “Forever Home” and what inspired you to write it?
A friend of ours said his daughter wanted to raise money for the local animal shelter in Marble Falls, TX where we do out annual Lone Star Luau music event. He said, "what if you write a song about animal rescue?" So we wrote it and recorded it and we really surprised ourselves with how great it turned out. Our producer Robert Wright just knocked that track right out of the park. It's about a pet finding it's forever home, but I think it can also be about someone finding their soulmate. That was the first song we recorded for the project with Robert, and after we heard what he did with Forever Home we knew we had to have him produce the album.
You two sound like you were made to make music, Have you found any challenges over the years while making music together and how did you decided to write country music?
We love what we do but it's not always easy - traveling full time is hard work. We do everything ourselves in house - booking, social media, all that - it's definitely a full time job so that we can have those couple of magical hours onstage sharing our stories and touching people's lives with our music. We are very blessed to have a very dedicated fan base. It's great that we both write and perform and can do it together. Otherwise we would not get to be together all the time. We both grew up listening to all kinds of music but for me when I was a senior in high school and was learning guitar I really fell in love with country music. I had always liked it as a kid but when I started learning the songs of artists like Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam and George Strait I just fell in love with it. And then when guys like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, and Brooks and Dunn came along I was hooked and knew I had to do it for a living. Coley knew she wanted to do it for a living when she went to a Keith Whitley concert in the rain and only a few people were there and he still put on a great show.
What’s new for you in 2019?
In 2019 we continue to tour full-time. In 2016 we left Austin and hit the road in a 40 foot long diesel pusher and lived in it. As of this year we are renting a house on a ranch out in Bandera, Texas and mostly flying to shows instead of doing all that driving, so we have more down time at home. We are working on promoting the Shotgun project and I have a side project called The Songwriters which is on my YouTube channel which is youtube.com/thomshepherd. I'm working on doing some online courses and songwriter getaways for people who want to learn more about songwriting and performing.
Stay connected with Thom and Coley through the duo's socials: