Thompson Square: Better together


Duo shares sadness of loss, secrets of success

By Shannon Bohle - [email protected]



Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square will perform at Findlay’s Marathon Center for the Performing Arts on Friday night.

Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square will perform at Findlay’s Marathon Center for the Performing Arts on Friday night.


Video:

Source: YouTube

Thompson Square sings “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”

FINDLAY — Thompson Square earned two No. 1 titles with “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” and “If I Didn’t Have You,” earning multi-platinum status and Country Vocal Duo of the Year awards from both the ACM and the CMA.

According to Keifer Thompson, the origin of this married duo’s band name is math, as in Thompson2.

“It started out Thompson Squared, but nobody heard the ‘ed’ or understood the mathematical significance,” he said via an email interview. “Trust me when I say that it’s better than some of the ridiculous names we were pondering.”

They will be singing at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in Findlay at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $24, $29 and $39, and they’re available via sforce.co/38u5Y9P.

The duo’s well-rounded (pun intended) sound was influenced by the country songs listened to by each of their parents, who couldn’t have been prouder when the duo then performed at the Grand Ole Opry.

“I was influenced by music in general — not necessarily one artist. I remember listening to Roger Miller, Merle Haggard and Elvis,” Keifer said. “My dad worked for National Life, an accident insurance company which started WSM and the Opry. So, needless to say, it didn’t get any bigger than the Opry for him. And he could not have been more proud.”

Shawna added, “Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and John Anderson were some of my dad’s favorites. What’s interesting is my introduction to their music was my dad sitting around with his acoustic playing his version of their songs. I’ve always said I feel like I was born just a little too late because I do have a strong adoration for the traditional stuff. I feel like on our new album you’re definitely gonna hear some of those influences.

“When Keifer and I made our Opry debut, it was the moment for my dad that he had always dreamed for me. It was the one accomplishment that solidified I had indeed made it in Nashville. Nothing else would top it. The Opry was the Super Bowl or gold medal to him. I’m so thankful that, before we lost him, he was able to see us on the Opry at the Ryman.”

Since her dad passed, the moment Shawna said she missed most about sharing with him was the birth of their son, Cooper.

Daddy was here just long enough to see Keifer and I accomplish pretty much all of our musical career first successes,” she said. “And for that I’m super grateful. But I would give anything for Cooper and Daddy to be able to spend time together. Fishing, singing or just seeing Daddy pick on him like he did with us would be an awesome thing to witness. He was such a wonderful man with such a big heart and had so much love to give. I know they would have been inseparable.”

Professionally, Shawna said she wished she could have shared “the traditional country project that I recorded in his honor a few years back. Keifer helped write and produced it. Physically, Daddy wasn’t here for that, but his presence was with us for that entire project.”

Being famous has put strain on many marital relationships, yet this country music duo celebrated their platinum 20-year wedding anniversary. Their marital success unbelievably paralleled their multi-platinum record sales success and music awards. The secret to their good fortune in both love, money and critical acclaim lay in a simple equation.

“We married right. We married our best friend, and have no doubt that God led us to each other,” Shawna said. “One of the keys to our success as a couple is to be fans of each other. There’s no room for jealously in a marriage. It’s toxic and destructive. We put us first and music second. And we really haven’t changed as people after the success started coming. We’re the same people as we’ve always been.

“We’re one of the few married country music duos so that’s an obvious one. When we sing songs to each other about each other, it’s 100% authentic, and I think the crowd knows it. As far as all of the awards, we never expected that, and we’re told we’d never win anything because we were on such a small record label. So, when it happened it just blew us away. We feel so honored to be a part of country music history.

The couple also feels it is important for their son Rigney Cooper, despite growing up with an unusual background, by traveling the world and having famous parents, to stay grounded in their family’s most important values to ensure his bright future.

“We are teaching him to put God first in all things and that he is no better than anyone else,” Shawna said. “We try to instill love for everyone and to be thankful for the blessings that he has because he’s growing up vastly different than we did. We both had great parents who taught us these things, and it has served us well and I know it will serve Cooper well, too.”

Love and intimacy are integral parts of adult happiness. Keifer says their lyric writing process is honest and spontaneous and that their love songs provide the right ambiance and lyrics to draw these two qualities out in listeners for them to be shared.

“They come from a place of truth. We write about what we know and what we have experienced. People see through fake, I think. I know I do,” he said. “I want to really believe the words a singer is singing. And we don’t want to sing love songs manufactured by someone else’s truth. … When inspiration comes, we write it. Our biggest songs have been written quickly because when it’s true you already know the story. Then you just have to craft the words to make it as good as possible. Having a great idea is the hardest part of writing for me. When a good idea comes along, we grab on to it.”

Looking forward, Keifer says their future looks bright.

“I’d like to think we’ve gotten better over the years,” he said. “The more we live and love, different things in life are introduced and you just have to wait on those. So, as we grow personally so will our music. Not knowing what that looks like in the future is the exciting part. Tomorrow’s song can change everything — and that’s why we love to create music.”

Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square will perform at Findlay’s Marathon Center for the Performing Arts on Friday night.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_ThompsonSquare_WEB_Slideshow-aa9a7186b3.jpgKeifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square will perform at Findlay’s Marathon Center for the Performing Arts on Friday night.
Duo shares sadness of loss, secrets of success

By Shannon Bohle

[email protected]

Reach Shannon Bohle at 567-242-0399, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Bohle_LimaNews.

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Reach Shannon Bohle at 567-242-0399, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Bohle_LimaNews.

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