Country music has a growing number of popular trios. They include the Dixie Chicks, Rascal Flatts, Trick Pony and SheDaisy. We can now add one more to the list, the new trio from Georgia, Sugarland.
The Atlanta-based trio Sugarland is giving Country music a fresh, new sound. Before forming Sugarland, lead singer Jennifer Nettles was a favorite in Atlanta's local nightclubs while leading the bands Soul Miner's Daughter and later The Jennifer Nettles Band. Songwriter and guitarist Kristen Hall had recorded two solo albums and Kristian Bush, who plays mandolin, performed in Billy Pilgrim, a popular folk/rock duo from Georgia.
After moving back to Atlanta from Los Angeles, Kristen called Kristian to write some songs together. They say they immediately felt a connection and began searching for a singer. As fate would have it, Jennifer Nettles was also ready to try something new in her career.
The three members of Sugarland bring a diverse range of musical influences to the trio, from Neil Young, Tom Petty and The Police, to Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles. Together, they create a unique sound that has quickly grabbed the attention of Country fans.
By the time they had performed only a handful of concerts, the trio was selling out 1,000-seat venues. Jennifer, Kristen and Kristian moved to Nashville in 2003, and were signed to Mercury Records within months. Last October, Sugarland's appropriately titled album, Twice The Speed of Life, was released. The album was recently certified gold in the USA with 500,000 copies shipped. Its debut single, "Baby Girl," climbed to Number 2 on Billboard's Country Singles chart.
"Baby Girl" spent a total of 46 weeks on the Country chart, which set a new record as the longest-running single in the history of the monitored chart era. It also became the highest charting single by a new group in 14 years.
"It's still surreal," Jennifer Nettles says. "For the first single to go that far is really unbelievable, and fits into what we hoped to do."
In addition to Sugarland's success at Country radio, the trio is a popular concert act. Luke Lewis, who was responsible for adding Sugarland to his record label says, "Their live presentation is as exciting as anything I have ever seen." Sugarland will spend the rest of 2005 touring in support of Twice the Speed of Life.
It took only eight weeks for the trio's latest single "Something More" to enter the Country chart's Top 10.