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‘Paying attention’: The Rough & Tumble ‘lay everything on the table’ for each show

The Rough & Tumble consists of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler. The duo will perform two shows on Thursday, Feb. 20, in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of AMP Concerts)

Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler have adjusted to life on the road.

In fact, the two have been living on the road for the past five years traveling across the country in their 16-foot camper. They picked up a couple of strays along the way – two 100-pound dogs, Puddle & Magpie Mae – and have been making themselves at home in living rooms, bars, theaters and festivals across the country.

“This life isn’t for everybody,” Graham says in a recent interview. “But it suits us just fine. We’ve gotten used to the freedom of doing what we want.”

The duo released their latest album, “Howling Back at the Wounded Dog” in September.

Graham says the duo have a special sentiment for New Mexico – which she says is easy to have for anyone who’s visited.

“Our most recent album cover actually features a $4 wolf pendant we picked up at a gas station outside of Santa Fe – after nearly running out of gas on our way out of the mountains,” she says.

The Rough & Tumble is headed to New Mexico for two shows on Thursday, Feb. 20. The first is at the East Mountain Public Library in Tijeras, and the second at the North Valley Library. Both events are free to attend, although registration is suggested at ampconcerts.org.

Tyler says the album took about a year to write and five days to record.

“The recording was done quickly out of necessity,” Tyler says. “What you get from recording that quickly is real, immediate results. There’s an urgency to the record. It wouldn’t exist the way it is if we would have pored over it a little bit me. It came from the gut and we made a lot of impulse decisions. It worked out just fine.”

Since the album’s release, the duo say, it’s been embraced the audiences at their shows.

“We have a song called ‘Howl at the Moon,’ and people started to howl when we were playing,” Graham says. “It was a pretty cool thing.”

Tyler says the band focuses on being present during their shows because each show is unique.

“I think for a lot of people in 2020, entertainment and music helps distract them from all that is going on in the world,” Tyler says. “One of the biggest hurdles for us to overcome as artists is to keep ourselves paying attention and not being distracted. We lay everything on the table with each performance. We’re grateful that people will come to the shows to support our music.”

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