Material: Formed in Nashville in 2016, country duo, Poppyiris, comprised of Deedee O’Malley and Mike Lusk, is no stranger to the country music scene. They have shared the stage with numerous country A-listers, and sung background vocals for artists like Kenny Rogers, LeAnn Rimes, Glenn Campbell and Keith Urban (to name a few). Their songs are infused with romantic themes that speak directly to falling in love and/or staying there for the long haul. In “Aint No Secret,” we skip the game playing that many relationships engage in, and get right to the heart of the matter: Yeah it aint no secret/It’s useless tryin’ to keep it/ got me feelin’ speechless/ sleepless/ it’s time to cross the line/it aint no secret/it’s time for me to meet ya’/got to take a leap yeah/ dive in deep yeah/cause I’d love to call you mine. Performed as a duet, it works well as both partners express their point of view from their individual perspective. In “Why The Hell Knot,” not only does the duo prove that they can write a bang-up chorus, but use wordplay as only country writers can: Why, why, why the hell not/ why not tie the knot/when I look at all the endless love we’ve got/ I say why not tie the knot.
Musicianship: Both O‘Malley and Lusk have exceptional voices; O’Malley’s warm, alto-rich sound, reminiscent of Roseanne Cash, together with Lusk’s full velvety bass sound, when joined together, not only create a seamless blend, but are harmonically gratifying. Their dueling guitar work supports the overall vibe and sonic landscape.
Performance: With a natural musicality and user-friendly presentation Poppyiris showcased songs that a varied demographic can relate to. They performed with such uber enthusiasm, that you couldn’t help wanting to chime in (which isn’t hard to do, what with such memorable and infectious choruses). They introduced songs with some brief commentary, but this duo has so much synergy that you pine a little to know more about them and what motivates their songwriting.
Summary: With catchy choruses and a compelling performance, Poppyiris seems well suited to radio. They convey universal and timeless messages in their songwriting and are truly a breath of fresh air. Fans will no doubt want to know more about them and what’s behind the music.
Players: Deedee O’Malley, vocals, guitar; Mike Lusk, vocals, guitar