10 Great Twangy Duets
Maybe its country music’s long history of songs about heartache, or perhaps the sheer ratio of married couples in the genre, but there’s something about a slight vocal twang and a male-female duet that seems to go hand in hand. Whether it’s a couple fighting — slinging insults back and forth between the grooves of a record – or a romantic ode to a long-time lover, here are a bunch of our favorite twangy duets. And leave your favorites in the comments.
Best Kissers in the World – "Hungover Together"
This ballad from the short-lived Seattle quartet Best Kissers in the World — features a female vocal from Carrie Akre — and is a minor classic. It was later covered by The Supersuckers and Kelley Deal, but the low-fi original nicely captures the hazy recollection of a night spent drinking… and whatever else happened.
Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell – "Two Different Things"
In this song from the Whiskeytown violinist and her songwriting partner, a couple comes to the realization they aren’t the same people they once were. What he wants and what he has are two different things. Ouch.
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash – "Jackson"
Johnny and June Carter Cash won a Grammy in 1968 for their version of this Jerry Leiber and Billy Edd Wheeler song about a married couple on the outs who tell each other about all the great things they’ll do when they arrive in the town of Jackson… without the other one.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – "Wildflowers"
A beautiful ballad from this real life Australian couple who trade verses throughout — she’s a wildflower, he’s an old man, old dog and old house — but together they can take on the world with their differences.
John Doe & Cindy Wasserman – "The Golden State"
The ex-X singer takes a verse before giving the second to Wasserman and sharing the third on this twangy rocker from his 2007 album "A Year in the Wilderness."
Steve Earle & Allison Moorer – "Days Aren’t Long Enough"
Earle wrote this one as a romantic ode to his 7th wife (yes, 7th), Allison Moorer, who sings with him on this track from his Grammy-winning 2008 LP "Washington Square Serenade."
Loretta Lynn & Jack White – "Portland Oregon"
Lynn won a Grammy for this track with Jack White, who produced the "Van Lear Rose" record it appears on. The song details a couple’s drunken hookup: "Well Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz,” Lynn sings, “If that ain’t love then tell me what is."
Rhett Miller & Rachel Yamagata – "Fireflies"
This polished pop duet – with an ever-so-subtle twang — appears on Miller’s third solo outing, "The Believer."
John Prine & Iris DeMent – "In Spite of Ourselves"
This is the only original composition from Prine’s 1999 album of duets that shares its name with this song. Robert Christgau sums the song up nicely: "A husband and wife who love each other to death paint totally different pictures of their marriage."
Wilco & Feist – "You and I"
There are a lot of great Wilco tracks — and this is no doubt one of ‘em — a mellow rocker from “Wilco (The Album)” that celebrates the differences in a couple’s relationship: "All the good with the bad," the pair sings together in unison, "Make something no one else has."