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‘Can You Duet?’ champions Steel Magnolia to highlight performers at Obion County Fair

‘Can You Duet?’ champions Steel Magnolia to highlight performers at Obion County Fair
'Can You Duet?' champions Steel Magnolia to highlight performers at Obion County Fair | 'Can You Duet?' champions Steel Magnolia to highlight performers at Obion County Fair

The Messenger 06.10.13

The Obion County Fair board has announced Steel Magnolia and Nashville artist Pork McElhinny will perform live during the 2013 Obion County Fair.
Steel Magnolia will perform on the Reelfoot Bank Stage Aug. 15 at 8 p.m., while McElhinny will perform on the Back Porch Stage Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 at 6 each night. The concerts are free with paid gate admission.
Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey make up the duo called Steel Magnolia, which won season two of CMT’s Can You Duet?
In the year after winning the show, Steel Magnolia won over many more influential fans and supporters. Their bracing take of “Keep on Lovin’ You” broke through as the highest charting debut single by a co-ed duo in Billboard history and climbed all the way to No. 5 on the Billboard Country Charts. The song has been downloaded more than a million times and landed in the major motion picture, “Valentine’s Day.” Jones and Ms. Linsey spent the summer of 2010 touring alongside Brad Paisley on his massively popular H20 Tour. They also toured with Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton and appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Lopez Tonight.
Even before the release of their debut album, Steel Magnolia snagged nine major industry award nominations, including: Vocal Duo of the Year and Top New Vocal Duo of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in both 2010 and 2011, Top Vocal Duo by the Country Music Association in 2010, Best Country Music Video by a New Duo by Country Music Television and a 2012 ACM Award for Vocal Duo of the Year. Their second single, “Just by Being You (Halo and Wings),” became their second Top 30 hit. Their third single “Last Night Again” reached No. 24 on the country charts. Their self-titled album was released in January 2011 and it debuted in the Top 10 of the pop and country album charts, entering the charts at No. 7 and No. 3, respectively.
Ms. Linsey spent her childhood in New Orleans before her family moved to nearby Ponchatoula, La., when she was 12. Even then, her plans to become a professional singer were already in place.
“As a teenager I put a band together, and most of the guys in this band were like in their 50s and had been playing in the Quarter for 20, 30 years. It definitely influenced the way I sing and what I was singing,” she said. That included soul classics, up-to-date blues tunes by the likes of Susan Tedeschi and hard-core country, especially the expansive and explosive music of Tanya Tucker.
“There’s definitely an element of soul in country music,” Ms. Linsey said when asked about the defining aspect of Steel Magnolia’s sound. “Country is all my mom listened to. That was definitely in my blood. My dad was very ’70s rock and roll. The combination of my dad and my mom’s influences, along with living in New Orleans in such a musical environment, it definitely all influenced the way I sing.”
Jones figured out his musical identity in a very different environment. Born in Houston but raised by an adoptive family in rural Illinois, his father was a factory worker on weekdays and a minister on Sundays. At home, he heard his folks’ classic country music and his older brother’s rock and roll explorations. He loved Waylon Jennings and the Beatles. The rest came at church.
“The music in our little country churches with 10-12 people was pretty traditional,” he said. “But we ended up going to an all black church called Second Baptist when I was 13, so I got immersed in the stomp.”
Jones arrived in Nashville as the leader of a rock trio and earned some notice on local radio. Ms. Linsey had her sights on a singing career and moved to Nashville as a new student at Belmont University. After about a year, she focused on singing and her job at a downtown karaoke bar.
The two actually met during a karaoke session, where they got to hear each other sing for the first time. Their turbulent on-stage/off-stage chemistry gave rise to original songs. The very first one they wrote together, “Edge of Goodbye,” became a calling card and made their debut album.
Currently they are writing songs for their follow up album. An album which is sure to please their fans with a combination of the signature Steel Magnolia sound and classic old school country.
Pork McElhinny was born George McElhinny but it didn’t take long before he was called “Georgie Porgie.” His older sister had trouble pronouncing Porgie and dubbed him Georgie Porky. By the age of 3, Porky turned to Pork and stuck. Around this same time, McElhinny picked up a guitar and began to play, turning a toddler into a budding “guitar man.”
He can sing, play the guitar and write songs and when he takes the stage he puts his heart and soul into every song he sings.
“He has the magical ability to draw the audience into the show and make every song come to life,” fans say.
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, McElhinny realized he needed to be closer to the music business in Nashville. As a man who is always true to himself and not afraid to take a risk, he made the move to Music City in the fall of 2006.  
McElhinny currently has four studio albums to his credit containing dozens of songs written from the heart and soul of an entertainer who has come full circle and embraces the strengths and weaknesses within himself and others.

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