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line The Kinleys

Click on photo for full-size version Jennifer and Heather Kinley were born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up surrounded by a diversity of music. Their parents listened to old-time music, songs of the fifties, country, and the Andrews sisters.

When the girls were eight, they were groovin' to the Grease soundtrack, but it was discovering the Everly Brothers, and their country roots that really got them hooked on country music. Jennifer recalls, "Those incredible harmonies, and hearing about them starting out with Chet Atkins, and singing ‘Bye, Bye, Love’ at the Opry."

It was those formative years that lead the girls to move to Nashville. They remembered watching country awards shows and realizing how much country artists appreciated their fans. It was such a strong American feeling, and they wanted to be part of that too.

They spent their nights waitressing, and their days songwriting, crashing parties, attending writer's showcases, and then did a year at the Courtyard Cafe doing covers, Jennifer on piano and Heather on guitar. It was co-writing "Just Between You And Me" with Russ Zavitson and his wife Debbie, what they called their "dream demo" that brought them label attention, and soon after, Epic and The Kinleys formed a perfect match, which lead to their debut album, Just Between You And Me.

Their first single, "Please," was an impassioned plea and remains the highest debuting single by a female duo in country music history, while the album's title track was a top ten smash. The album was certified gold and has gone on to sell nearly 750,000 copies. They were named the Best New Duo by the Academy of Country Music and garnered nominations from the Grammys, the Country Music Association and the American Music Awards. They also scored a hit with the inspirational, "Somebody's Out There Watching," from the Touched By An Angel soundtrack.

Now, the Kinleys are back, with an album full of life, energy, and undeniable passion. Since their debut, there has been a sea of female vocal groups, but none with the unique sound of the Kinleys. As twin sisters, Jennifer and Heather possess an innate sense of harmony, and their vocals have never sounded better than on their latest release, The Kinleys II.

The girls didn't want to rush out a follow-up album. Instead they took their time to do it right. They recorded half their project with Russ Zavitson and Tony Haselden, the team behind their successful debut. Then they turned to singer/songwriter Radney Foster to complete the project. "This record is who we are musically," says Jennifer. "There is so much variety on it, which is the cool part about having three producers as part of the project."

"The first time I heard Jennifer and Heather play with just their acoustic guitars, I was taken with what amazing singers they both are," says Foster. "My goal as a producer was to try to get that magic down on tape -- and not overwhelm their voices with production." Instead, their vocals sound relaxed and alive, as Foster was able to capture their pure joy for singing.

"We love to sing separately, but there is something that is exhilarating about putting our voices together," says Jennifer. "At certain points when we're singing, the two of us really do become one sound. It's hard to explain, but it's an amazing feeling." " It's like we're connecting on another level," continues Heather. "We know each other so well that we thought that it was impossible, but when we bring our voices together, its a different bonding experience."

All their musical influences from their childhood can be heard on The Kinleys II, yet the sound they've created is all their own. They co-wrote five of the songs, but every song sounds custom-made for them, from the groove and attitude of the album's opener "She Ain't The Girl For You," to the all-out yearning of "If Ever I Needed You," and "I Need You Now," the cool, ethereal "I'm In," to the heartfelt honesty of "You're Still Here."

The Kinleys II is a true representation of where Jennifer and Heather are right now: a little older, wiser and much happier. "It's been almost three years since the last record and musically, we've changed so much," says Jennifer. "We're in a totally different spot. We've gotten more confidence and more experience, and I think that shows through in our music. In your 20s, you're still learning about who you are. We were doing that, both personally and musically. Now that we're almost thirty, we feel like everything is coming together."

Photo © Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Used with permission.


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