Popular local duo, Rodeo & Juliet, will christen the newly renovated Little Brick Theater at The Factory in Franklin (formerly known as The Boiler Room Theater) for an album release party today.
We sat down with husband and wife, Christopher and Janet Harris, who make up the duo Rodeo & Juliet to ask more about their music career, how The Bagby House was once a recording studio and an upcoming project that involves a GRAMMY.
Can you tell us how you got started in the Music Industry?
We have lived in Franklin since 1987 and in Nashville before that. In 1977 we moved to Nashville after College at Abilene Christian University in Texas. There are around 20 of us who came up to work in the Music Industry in late 70’s including Franklin resident- Brown Bannister (Amy Grant’s longtime Producer) and I point him out because he gave so much to so many of us and we are grateful for him as a mentor and encouragement to all of us.
We all spent many many hours singing and Producing in Keith Thomas’ studio The Bennett House Studios (now Bagby House). That’s the highlight for me, hundreds of sessions in downtown Franklin!
I also got to work 2 days with legendary guitars artist Stevie Ray Vaughn, 7 months before he died in 1990. That was HUGE! I Produced hundreds of National commercials and I wrote and produced a Pepsi commercial with him. He’s buried next to my mom, dad and best friend in Dallas-Oak Cliff. Grateful to work with and on so many great artists like Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, Brenda Lee, Tobymac, Amy Grant and also being on the road with Franklin resident Michael W. Smith in his first band 1985-87.
How did you become known as Rodeo & Juliet?
I wanted to write a song style in the memory of Roy Orbison and so I went to Mega HIT songwriter friend Paul Overstreet along with the help of David Mullen we wrote this song about Jan and I (wife of 36 years) almost 18 years ago. At the time, not knowing we would sell our Franklin 96 west house and work up 100 love songs and head to Colorado for 3 years and then move back here 3 years ago singing together as Rodeo and Juliet. It’s a story of highs and lows and we just celebrate life through the good the bad and the ugly!
What can we expect from your album release party?
Saturday night is a way to come home with 125 friends and family. This coming home party is also a way to open this awesome theater at The Factory. Forty years of getting to do everything in the industry I wanted to do and now singing with my wife and killer five-piece band and finishing a four year studio project about our journey. We will also have friend & Grammy Songwriter of the Year Gordon Kennedy perform. Gordon will sing his Bonnie Raitt and Eric Clapton cuts. And a couple of surprises too. We want to do a Variety show like the ones we grew up watching in the 60’s & 70’s. We will have a couple of sweet soul numbers with some American Roots music.
Any upcoming projects?
We are also working on a Film about John Billings, the man who makes the GRAMMY or he often referred to as the GRAMMY Maker and he has been making them by hand for the last 40 years. We got to be friends with him in Colorado. Never a dull moment.
Don’t miss the Rodeo & Juliet album release party of “The El Paso Kid and the New York Lady” at The Factory on Saturday, April 30 starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15 at the door.
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