[Photo by Brandon Cale, a/k/a The Popperazzi]

Happy New Year! Kasey Rausch here, writing to you. 2017 was quite good to The Country Duo. 

First, a big thanks to all of you who supported us. This kind of work takes community and we are grateful to everyone who has showed up at gigs, purchased our music or kept the home fires burnin’ (especially our significant others Travis & Lauren!) while we’ve roamed the country and shared our music. 

We made some “best of the year” lists! Big thanks to Mark Manning of the Wednesday Midday Medley on 90.1FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, Dwayne Martin of DRM the Nest and Kimmy DeVries of I Love KC Music for naming our Live at Sun Studio EP one of the year’s best releases! (Double thanks to I Love KC Music and their readers for including us on both the blog’s list and the People’s Choice list!) To top it off, Sherman Breneman of Vinyl Underground named our 45 record one of the top releases of the year as well.  THANKS ER’YBODY! 

We had tons of great experiences in 2017 that have left me with a load of gratitude. To name a few: 

- We released our very first recording as a duo, a 45 record made at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. 

- Our Sun Studio Sessions television show began airing nationwide on PBS stations across the United States, and we released our first CD, Live at Sun Studio, the soundtrack to the show. 

- We opened for Texas Music Legend Tish Hinojosa at Green Guitar Folk House, the best listening room series in the KC area. 

- We scored music for a Sam Shepherd play "A Lie of the Mind" for Kansas City Actors Theatre (with musical direction by Jonathan Robertson) and played a short live set before the sold-out opening night performance (Soundtrack **hopefully** released in 2018!) 

- Recorded and released a single, "Texas Without You," with our buddies Matthew Brahl & Brendan Moreland at Temple Sounds in our hometown of KC. 

- Road tripped to south Louisiana with a film crew (Mikal Shapiro & Galadriel A. L. Thompson) to meet up with former Sun Studio engineer Curry Weber to record in an antebellum mansion (Thanks Wes & Charles! Recordings to be released in the future!)  

- We've received airplay in multiple states and on multiple European radio stations. (All this airplay with really only a soft release of our EP. It gets released to the digital world soon!) 

- We played Boulevardia! And The Fish Fry with Chuck Haddix! And the new KC Star Sessions! And the 10th Annual Apocalypse Meow! The Hillbilly Hotrod Hootenanny! Olathe Public Library! Tributes to Neil Young & Leadbelly, house concerts and so much more… 

The year wasn't all about the duo, and that is a good thing. We're surrounded by so many amazingly talented friends. We supported our buddies Greg Wickham and Fred Wickham as they released their albums. Marco joined Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits on their 2017 album and Kasey sang on the new album released by Melinda Mullins, The Johnny Mullins Collection, Vol. 1. 

Marco & Kasey are also 2/5 of the classic country honky tonk band The Naughty Pines. We rocked out with the Mayor of KCMO Sly James, played music on the KC Streetcar and started a new monthly residency at The Ship in the historic West Bottoms. 

2018 holds some exciting things as well. We’re looking forward to getting back to Texas, Nashville, Memphis (more recording in the works and possibly a video, too!) in March, and exploring states that we either have only gigged in on occasion or not at all, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and… CALIFORNIA! We’re also crossing our fingers about a possible new opportunity to work with a booking agent which could open up a world of possibilities for us. 

So much music to be made, so little time…. Here’s to being here now and setting goals for the future.  All the best to you and yours from The Country Duo.

January 2, 2018

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