In 2012, the popular and highly awarded country duo Sugarland made an announcement that none of their fans saw coming. After years of working together, members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush decided to go on hiatus.
The two cited serval reasons for branching off, including Nettles’ pregnancy at the time and their desires to explore their solo careers. Years passed, and fans were left with little hope that the duo would ever reunite.
Finally, Nettles and Bush appeared together at the 2017 CMA Awards, where they hinted that a reunion was in the works. Before long, the two were back to work, and released a brand-new album, titled Bigger, in February.
The album sports the duo’s hit single “Babe,” which was co-written by and features Taylor Swift.
Following the album’s release, Sugarland embarked on their Bigger tour, bringing along “Criminal” singer Lindsay Ell as an opening act. Ell’s inclusion wasn’t a random pick by any means, because she shares close ties with Bush.
It turns out that Bush has produced two of Ell’s studio albums, The Project and The Continuum Project. But in addition to producing her albums, Bush is also one of Ell’s closest friends, and now, her singing partner.
As Ell revealed in an interview with The Boot, she and Bush have formed a brand-new duo named Speakeasy Social Club. They decided to form the duo back in March, when both of them were scheduled performers at the same festival:
“We were like, ‘Well, we’re both on the bill together, so why don’t we just hop on the stage at the same time? We won’t make a setlist, we’ll just have fun.’ So we did just that. I didn’t know the next song he was gonna play, and he didn’t know the next song I was gonna play. We played different songs, and each other’s songs. It was just purely for the joy of playing music, and it was the most fun I’d had onstage in as long as I can remember.“
After that experience, Bush and Ell decided to keep things going as a duo, but under a few conditions. For starters, their shows will always be free. Secondly, fans will never know about shows in too far in advance. Instead, all Speakeasy Social Club shows will be announced hours before they take place.
While the duo may just be having fun for now, there could be the potential for bigger things to come in the future. When asked if they would ever release an album, Ell said they haven’t ruled out the idea.
“That’s definitely something we’ve tossed around, since we will be in the studio,” she said. “I’m sure at some point we may do that.”
We sure hope they do! See just how well Bush and Ell work together by watching one of their most recent performances.