Talking with Thompson Square's Keifer and Shawna Thompson on the phone, their new puppy plays with a squeaky toy in the background. The 2012 County Music Vocal Duo of the Year is at home, taking a short break from the Lady Antebellum tour, which recently wrapped up. They are now on their own tour schedule and preparing to record a new album in the fall. Colorado is their next stop, hitting Gypsum's Lundgren Theater at 9 p.m. Saturday as the headline performance. They are looking forward to it."We love Colorado," Keifer said. "We're trying to make it a regular thing."Shawna said they're also excited to show off their latest stage set."We've stepped up the lights and things like that," she said.Like any all-American couple, Keifer and Shawna are a product of many influences, and it's heard in their music, which ranges from hard to soft, from funny to serious and a lot in between. They co-write most of their songs and it seems that they've lived most of them, too. Songs like "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not," "Glass," "Let's Fight" and "As Bad As It Gets" smack of genuine experience. The latter two especially flesh out the humor in marital spats."No matter who you are, you can relate to these things," Keifer said. "Country music tells stories of everyone's life."Musical familiesCountry music isn't their only influence by any means, however."I like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre," Keifer said. "Basically, I'm just influenced by music in general."He also listed Adele, Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters among others as contemporary influences. That's in addition to the timeless Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, of course.They both grew up in musical families and knew early on that it was a way of life for them."I was 5 or 6 when my family took me to an Alabama concert, and I knew from then on that I wanted to be on stage singing," Shawna said. "Luckily my parents were very supportive. They helped me move to Nashville when I was 18, which was sort of my college experience."That's where she met Keifer and both agree it was love at first sight."I was dating someone at the time, and after I got to know Shawna, I had to call the other girl and tell her, 'I found the one,'" Keifer said.At the time, Keifer and Shawna were both pursuing solo music careers. They continued on that track even after they got married. Eventually they tied the knot with their music as well, and that's when the magic happened. Now they've been married 13 years and together as Thompson Square for about seven years. In total, they've each been working as a musician for 17 years."I think we found who we were when we came together," Shawna said.Success doesn't come with guarantees, however. Like anyone, Keifer and Shawna are still trying to grow and find their way into the future."Every year I second guess myself and consider going to grad school," Keifer, who has a bachelor's degree in psychology and an strong background in sports like football, soccer and track. "You can't give up," he said. "No one can know how things will evolve. In terms of music, I would like to do a traditional country album at some point.""After being on tour for a while, we're ready to make some new music," Shawna said.Social causesThompson Square has also partnered with some social causes, Including ChildFund International and Purina Dog Chow. ChildFund International will be on site at each concert in a booth run by volunteers who each personally sponsor a child through the organization. Fans who visit the ChildFund International booth and sign up to sponsor a child that evening will receive an autographed copy of Thompson Square's self-titled debut album."We partnered with Purina Dog Chow because we are a proud dog family," Shawna said.Through a new tab created on the Purina Dog Chow Facebook page, dog lovers can now visit Dog Families Know, a new community within a community, and share their own unique family moments about their dog's impact on their family - via stories, photos and videos. From now until July 31, a new topic will be proposed each week that dog families can relate to, and for every unique story, photo or video tacked onto the virtual community board, Purina Dog Chow will donate $1, up to $25,000, to Patriot Rovers Inc., helping support its mission to "Save Dogs, Help Soldiers and Honor Heroes." Additionally, one photo will be selected each week as the Purina Dog Chow Facebook cover photo."We just lost a (Yorkshire terrier) in February," Keifer said over the din of squeaky noises at his house. "It was tough but we're enjoying the puppy."
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