Maddie & Tae are making a statement

By John Benson

Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye are well aware their country music act Maddie & Tae are on the fast track to success.

After graduating from high school just a little more than two years ago, the songwriting duo arrived in Music City. The girls quickly signed a deal and watched their debut single, “Girl in a Country Song,” go platinum as a No. 1 hit. Instantly, Marlow and Dye were stars appearing on television (“The Late Show with David Letterman,” “TODAY” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”).

Their overnight success still requires plenty of pinching when they wake up to make sure they’re not dreaming.

“I definitely think at least five days out of the week we have those moments, ‘Are we really doing this?’” said Dye, calling from a tour stop in Iowa. “We’re 20 and 21 years old, so to get to have those experiences, it’s the best thing ever.”

Considering she opened the door, what happens the other two days when they don’t wake up pinching themselves?

“Oh, those days we’re just too tired,” Dye laughed.

That’s true considering over the past year the twosome not only mounted their own headlining run but also opened for Lee Brice and now Brad Paisley. The current tour comes through the Buckeye State for what Dye believes is Maddie & Tae’s Northeast Ohio debut tonight at Blossom Music Center.

Such is the hectic schedule for a recording act that watched the video for “Girl in a Country Song” not only garner more than 37 million views and score the duo their first award, CMA’s Video of the Year, but in the process open up a dialogue about the current state of tunes coming out of the Music City.

The anti-bro country “Girl in a Country Song” commented on how women were perceived as trophies.

“We’re just trying to write very honest music and things that connect with our fans on a deeper level,” Marlow said. “We actually got so much positive feedback. It was something that needed to be said for a while and no one was saying. Everyone was writing all of these different things how you think of the stereotypical woman in these songs and how annoying that was for women, like we were just a little piece of meat.”

“We’re huge country fans but we hate the way we’re being portrayed in these songs. So most of the blogs and reviews were really positive. We really didn’t get that much negative feedback. There were those Texas men that were like, ‘Get back in the kitchen,’ and I’m like ‘Oh my gosh.’”

Looking ahead for the duo is the all-important sophomore album, which the songwriters hope to have out in 2017. Musically speaking, the material has more of an “elevated” feel, with Maddie & Tae experimenting with different sounds that still fit squarely under the country music label. Songs in the mix include a Chris Stapleton-esque waltz and numerous anthems.

Perhaps the no-brainer song for the duo’s next project is “Boy in a Country Song.” It practically writes itself.

“Yeah,” laughed Maddie, “We could describe what a good guy would be.”

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