By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Scott Chism & the Better Half has played hundreds of shows, and finally the duo has hit the record button on its music.
Chism and his musical partner Lynsey Terry are celebrating the release of their debut album, “Long Haul Steady.”
“We’ve done home recordings and we’d release them ourselves, but this is what we’re considering our debut album,” Chism said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “As opposed to a bluegrass record or a rock ‘n’ roll record or an Americana record, this album is really diverse. We tried to go and cover all spectrums, which I think we did a really good job of.”
Chism and Terry formed the group in Tupelo years ago, but moved to Hattiesburg two years ago. It’s almost like they never left, though, as they stay on the road, with a steady roster of gigs all over the region, including north Mississippi. The band has two shows in Tupelo this weekend.
“Long Haul Steady” was produced by Braden Land, a Nashville musician who is originally from Tupelo.
Though the band is best known as a duo, lately they’ve incorporated more musicians into their live shows – and on the album – for a richer, robust sound. The duo is best known as a bluegrass and country group, but shades of folk, Americana and gospel color the album. Chism and Terry recorded their own songs as well as tunes written by Land and Cary Hudson.
Some of the players on “Long Haul Steady” have played with the likes of Vince Gill and Andrew Bird.
“Everybody that walked through that door at the studio was meant to walk through that door at the studio,” he said. “We all had a really, really good time and I think that’s pretty obvious.”
Chism and Terry are full-time musicians – not the easiest, or most profitable, job in the world. Chism gives thanks to friends and family in Tupelo and across the state who have supported the pair.
“We put every penny we had into this album. Literally, when we went to record, we had $40,” Chism said. “There’s no way possible the album would’ve ever come out without the help of family, friends and fans. We’re not signed to no label, we’re not interested in signing with no label. Our label is our friends, our family, our fans.”
With this milestone, Scott Chism & the Better Half is ready to tackle the next big project. But for now, they’ll do what they do best: play shows.
“We’re really excited, and we’re ready to hit the road, now that we’ve got our ducks in a row,” Chism said. “Wherever they’ll let us in the door, we’re ready.”
Two Shows, One Band
WHO: Scott Chism & the Better Half
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. tonight at Woody’s, 6 p.m.
Saturday at the Neon Pig in Tupelo