Thompson Square Acoustic
With their third studio album, Masterpiece, the husband and wife team of Keifer and Shawna Thompson is back and at the top of their game, offering up a fresh batch of poetic and extremely personal Country music.
“This album is called Masterpiece, and it’s named after what we consider our masterpiece our son Cooper,” Keifer explains. “We feel like he’s the best thing we’ve ever made, and he inspired this whole album.”
Working with a new, independent mindset, Masterpiece arrives at the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the duo and it finds them taking skillful control of their acclaimed musical bond.
Brought together by love and undeniable talent, Keifer and Shawna each moved to Nashville separately but soon met while competing against one another in a local singing competition. They formed Thompson Square as complete unknowns, taking the Country scene by storm with an organic vocal blend that harkened back to the duets of icons like Johnny Cash and June Carter.
Following the release of their 2X Grammy nominated, double Platinum breakout “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” the Thompsons have been riding a wave of success that continues to this day, touring with superstars like Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Luke Bryan and racking up chart topping Country radio favorites like the devoted “I Got You” and the flirty “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About.”
But after 19 years of marriage and the birth of their first child in 2016 a son named Rigney Cooper a new wave of creative inspiration has been unleashed. Choosing to depart their former record label, the duo set themselves free to create a project with the help of top shelf producers Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff and Ilya Toshinskiy.
What emerged truly is their Masterpiece, an album filled with all the passionate potency Thompson Square is known for, plus a fearless new range of sounds and personality. Pristine Country balladry is joined by sandy reggae funk, fire breathing arena rock and sensual R&B, as the du o strives to be honest with each song’s creative genesis.
“It is extremely diverse,” Shawna admits about the 11 new tracks, nine of which poured from their own hearts. “We didn’t design it that way, but Keifer and I love all types of music, and I think that shows more on this record than any of the others.”
“Let’s Do Something Stupid” (written by Keifer and Jason Lehning) puts that balanced musical appetite on blast, and also reveals the spark behind their famous love story. Sultry, soulful and backed by a slow-grinding R&B groove, it’s guaranteed to stir passions.
“It went back to the time when Shawna and I first started dating,” Keifer explains. “I knew instantaneously that this is what I’d been searching for, and instead of playing it safe, we jumped in.”
Songs like “Good Day” send the listener straight into relaxation mode, while others like “Up in Smoke” crank up the intensity through pounding drums and hot-blooded vocals. Penned by Keifer and Cary Barlowe, “A Love Like This” tips a hat to the textured rock of U2 – a meant-to-be anthem for a once-in-a-lifetime romance – and “Millionaires” mixes twangy fun with programmed beats as the couple “take their love and turn it into money.”
“‘Millionaires’ is just super fun,” Keifer says of the track. “When people think about Thompson Square, they think of love, and we wear that as a badge of honor.”
Meanwhile, no Masterpiece would be complete without addressing life’s darker hues, so the duo self-produced a handful of tracks which neither felt comfortable allowing anyone else to touch. “Breakers,” for example, swells and shudders with the emotion of Shawna’s wounded vocal; a raw, real-world reminder that vulnerability is the price of unconditional love.
“It was really difficult to sing because it’s so personal, and we had to do several takes to get a good one where I wasn’t actually crying,” Shawna says. “When I listen back, I can still hear tears in my voice.”
But it’s the project’s title track that gives the album its foundation, and shows where the couple stands today. Inspired by the Thompsons’ idyllic family life, Keifer wrote the track solo and admits it’s his favorite song on the record, so he and Shawna recorded it with all the back-porch authenticity of its creation.
“I woke up one day with that title in my head, and I was thinking about my life with Shawna and now Cooper,” he explains. “It was like ‘Man, if I died today, that’s my masterpiece – my love for my wife and this wonderful little boy.’
“I think making this record has been one of the most liberating experiences we’ve had in our career,” he goes on. “It’s an exciting time to be Thompson Square.”