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The Rough & Tumble aren’t casual road dogs, but they aren’t letting on, either. From their upbeat, commanding stage presence and sharp banter, to their earworm-inducing melodies and heartstring lyrics, this dumpster-folk/thriftstore Americana duo refuses to bring the haggard road-worn stereotype to their audience-- even though they’ve earned it. In fact, The Rough & Tumble have been elbowing out of most stereotypes.
Writing and performing together since 2007, Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler inevitably formed The Rough & Tumble in 2011 as the friends turned into bandmates. In 2015, after a bad Nashville landlord left them without heat for 12 days during an ice storm, the bandmates turning spouses decided to hit the road. They sold everything they could, bought a 16’ camper (despite the warning of their families and the lot salesman), packed up their instruments, their dog, and a couple of small trinkets shaped like elephants and mice that they couldn’t part with, and hit the road. They’ve been touring relentlessly since with their two 100lb rescue dogs, Mud Puddle and Magpie Mae, in spite of multiple burnt up axles, busted tires, and consistent water leaks.
On February 19, 2021 The Rough & Tumble dug into the severed branch of their family tree, bringing their newest work, We’re Only Family If You Say So, a full length record about what it takes to be family-- and what it means to lose it. As with their previous two albums, it was recorded in East Nashville, TN with producer/engineer Dave Coleman. With its release, fans are already Saying So. The raw, emotive nature intersects with the sweet, nearly upbeat tone that touches a nerve unfortunately familiar to listeners, particularly in the aftermath of division in both nation and families alike.
The new record follows on the 2019 release Howling Back at the Wounded Dog, a 10-song album wherein response was audible, with audiences literally howling back at performances coast-to-coast. The opening track “The Hardest Part” won the Independent Music Award’s Best Americana Song of 2019.