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‘Love’ duo embrace country music roots

Up-and-coming country duo Love and Theft is touring in support of its self-titled sophomore album. The album spawned a No. 1 single.
Up-and-coming country duo Love and Theft is touring in support of its self-titled sophomore album. The album spawned a No. 1 single.
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Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles are beginning to make waves in the country music genre.

After releasing their debut album in 2009, Gunderson and Liles, who make up the country duo Love and Theft, found some success. But it wasn’t until moving over to RCA Records Nashville in 2011 that they hit it big and mainstream success came along.

The duo released its single, “Angel Eyes,” which became a No. 1 single.

“That was the beginning of it all,” Gunderson says during a recent interview. “After that, the album came and then all the touring.”

The single would later go on the 2012 self-titled release, which has been certified gold in the United States.

Gunderson says the duo’s current album was like a new start.

Love and Theft
With Simon Balkey & the Honky Tonk Crew
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13
WHERE: Dirty Bourbon Dance Hall & Saloon, 9800 Montgomery NE
HOW MUCH: $10 at holdmyticket.com or 886-1251

“We feel like people will be hearing us for the first time,” he says. “It’s really like an introduction record.”

The duo left the famed Lyric Street Records to sign with RCA and Liles says it’s was like a dream come true.

“The history of RCA Records is incredible,” Liles says. “Just knowing that we are on the same label as some of our biggest influences, like Elvis Presley, is an awesome feeling.”

Since the band’s inception in 2006, Gunderson and Liles have shared lead vocals and harmonies, and on the current album, it’s no different.

“We sound like brothers when we sing,” Gunderson says. “Stephen and I have always been on the same page as far as the vision for the band, and we feel like we have made the record we’ve always wanted to make.”

The album was produced by Josh Leo, who has produced albums for Alabama and Nitty Gritty Dirty Band.

The duo, who didn’t meet until they were in their early 20s, were raised in church. Liles’ dad is a pastor and Gunderson’s father is a worship pastor and their fathers raised them on gospel, country and oldies music.

“Our parents didn’t want us listening to secular music that much. But they’d let us listen to Elvis, Roy Orbison, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It was cool to grow up that way, and that’s still my favorite kind of music,” Gunderson explains. “We’re both from the South and we’re very much in favor of embracing our country roots. I feel like we’ve done that here.”

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