Temecula Road Shine duet on “Heartbreak in Boots”
Temecula Road went through something this year that they saw coming, but they couldn’t fully prepare. In March 2022, their longtime member Maddie left the band, leaving Dawson Anderson and his sister Emma Salute to figure out next steps.
Although they ended things on a note of support and love, that didn’t dismiss the problem to be solved – they had built their musical career on three-way harmonies and had even signed a recording contract with Warner Music Nashville as a group.
“It’s something we want to talk about. It’s such a huge thing that’s happened to us. We’ve based our sound on three-part harmonies our entire career since day one. So it was a scary transition for us,” Salute told Taste of Country. “We’ve built this amazing team around us, and they’ve all signed a trio, not a duo, so we didn’t know what it would be like on the labor side.”
Temecula Road isn’t the first country band to experience such upheaval. Perhaps unbeknownst to new country fans, Jennifer Nettles and Kristen Bush of Sugarland became a duo in 2005 after former member Kristen Hall left. More recently, Stevie Woodward and Natalie Stovall joined founding member Jennifer Wayne on female trio Runaway June after two member changes.
Luckily for the California natives, at least one thing was certain about this transition: they weren’t ready to quit, nor were they interested in finding a replacement to fill Maddie’s place.
“Damn no! 33.3% will increase to 50% Let’s rock and roll! Dawson jokes, referring to the increased profit margins of a two-way split.
“But seriously, we never thought about it because what we had created together for the three of us was really for the two of us, and we didn’t even know it. So it was like, ‘No one will ever be locked up like us. we are and no one will spend more time than we are together,” he explains. “It’s so much more powerful as a duo. The music we wrote was [already] lending itself more to a two-part duet style than a three-part harmony.
After working hard to perfect their duet harmonies, Temecula Road are ready to perform with a spellbinding charmer, “Heartbreak in Boots.”
With Salute on lead vocals and harmonization by Anderson, the beautifully poignant ballad perfectly blends stripped-down country instrumentation with classic storytelling.
“Bad boys, a heartbreak in the boots / They’ll just step on you / Like a whiskey last call he draws / It’s a good kind of burn until it hurts and you learn / Bad boys, a sorrow in the boots” she sings on smooth acoustic guitars and mandolin, with an almost palpable tear in her voice as she ruminates on her real breakup.
“It hit us,” Dawson says of the song, which he co-wrote with Casey Brown, Parker Welling and Salute. “We were on Tims Ford Lake in Tennessee at a writing camp and wrote this song in about an hour. We knew it was special. When we picked up the demo, we just knew there was something very unique about this song.
After writing “Heartbreak in Boots”, Salute decided to spontaneously record a dark cover of her playing the song on acoustic guitar in her dimly lit living room. The video was immediately uploaded to their personal Instagram page overnight, before being posted to the duo’s official Instagram and TikTok pages the following day.
Now, this fortuitous viral clip has over 196,000 views and 36.4,000 likes.
“Given our traction at that time, it really put us in a good position and allowed us to have the conversation about releasing music. It wasn’t because we weren’t going to. , that was our plan from the start. But it was a good push,” notes Salute.
“It was a good motivation for us, a good motivation for the team, and it was also exciting because everyone loves a good viral moment,” confirms Anderson. “It’s always more special when you don’t really think about it and spend too much time on it. You could spend five hours creating the coolest idea for a TikTok, have the best wardrobe, do the best scene, and it could fail. And then it’s like, ‘I got stoned one night and I’m going to post this TikTok’ and it goes up and it does that,” he adds, referring to the spontaneity of the Salute post.
Temecula Road is set to release two more songs this year before returning to the studio to work on a project slated for release in early 2023. The music will proudly display the duo’s new sound, which seamlessly blends their country roots with a genre multi-list of musical influences, including Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Michael Jackson and fellow Warner Music Nashville labelmates Dan + Shay.
“I think over the past two years of writing songs every day, we naturally found our sound, which we’ve been looking for for a long time. It goes back to our roots and what we grew up listening to, all the 90s and 2000s country stuff,” they tease, while also citing Faith Hill, Lady A and Jo Dee Messina as core influences. “Everything is going to be really more country than before. We have fiddle, pedal steel, dobro – I mean, we go back in time!”
In addition to releasing new music, Temecula Road is also looking forward to returning to the Grand Ole Opry stage for the first time as an all-new duo after their group debut in 2019. This in addition to having a song n #1 on country radio. , pulling hard ticket sales and getting top billing are things they hope to achieve in their careers.
“We are in no rush, of course. We work hard, but we trust the process and enjoy this part of our career. We hope and pray and we know deep down that where we will be in 10 years is where we want to be. So we’re enjoying it right now but we’re excited.