2020 was off to the perfect start for country duo Pryor & Lee.
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Fresh off their signing as the first duo on Black River Entertainment, Pryor Baird and Kaleb Lee were racking up tour dates and smiling pretty for Instagram-worthy pics when the ‘get-your-heart-pumping’ song “Y’allsome” found its way in their inbox.
“I was on a midnight flight from Los Angeles in February and going through a bunch of songs, and at the bottom of the list was this song ‘Y’allsome,’ and I thought for sure it was a typo,” laughs Baird during a recent interview with American Songwriter about the song written by Rhett Akins, Marv Green, and JT Harding. “Once we got to cruising altitude, I listened to that song first and next thing I knew, I was hitting the armrests and pounding my feet. I mean, the flight attendant told me I was shaking the plane. (Laughs.) From the first note, I know this was a song we had to cut.”
The only problem was that very soon, life would be anything but awesome.
On the very day they were set to track their debut song, COVID-19 began its cruel hold on the country. And in the blink of an eye, the enthusiasm surrounding the duo with the big vocals and that duo’s intoxicating debut single came to a screeching halt.
So they stopped.
They put the song on pause.
And they waited…until now.
And while the pandemic continues across the country and around the world, “Y’allsome” has taken on a whole new meaning, a whole new purpose, a whole new reason to believe that this song was meant to come out at a time such as this.
“If you ask me, the timing couldn’t be better,” said Baird, who toured across the country last year in support of his solo EP titled All Over Me featuring songs from hit songwriters Tommy Carlisle, Trent Willmon, and Easton Corbin. “First off, look at where country music is. Not a lot of songs sound like this one. But then, with the whole pandemic and the world having virtually been shut down and stopped from turning, this is the music that is going to help people. Music lives within so many people’s daily routine right now, and that routine could use a little shot of happy.”
Indeed, Baird and Lee have quite the happy go lucky, feel good chemistry that began brewing when the two appeared together on Season 14 of NBC’s The Voice, in which both of them finished in the top 6.
“He was from California and I was from Florida,” recalls Lee, who ultimately ended up roommates with Baird during their time on the singing competition show. “We sang a couple songs together and we just really clicked. Through the years, we have played with other artists, but very rarely do you get to play with someone that you connect with so well musically. I mean, you know where they are going before they get there.”
But once the show was over and both started pounding pavements on their own as solo artists, they were hit by reality. And soon, Pryor & Lee began to realize that they just might be better off pounding those pavements together…as a country duo.
“Both of our musical tastes typically go towards the high energy, fun, get people up and going kind of music,” says Lee, who last year released “I Dream in Southern” featuring superstar Kelly Clarkson. “’Y’allsome’ is not only that, but its also reminiscent of the country music we grew up with from people like Travis Tritt and Big & Rich and Brooks & Dunn.”
“I’ve been playing guitar my entire life,” adds Baird, who pairs some impressive guitar skills with an insane vocal range. “Kaleb (Lee) has his own style, but I don’t ever think I have ever played and had chemistry like this with someone else. I mean, it literally falls out of us. We play the same way but our own way. It’s effortless.”
And while they may have pictured the release of their debut single looking a little different, things now seem to be heading in the right direction for Pryor & Lee’s. “Y’allsome” is set to go to radio in the coming days, and the duo tentatively has tour dates booked for July and August.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes as planned,” Lee says.
And if they don’t go as planned, that’s okay too.