Nashville husband and wife duo Carolina Story will perform at Icon Lounge in Sioux Falls on August 9 and The Only One in Lennox on August 10 in support of their full-length debut album Lay Your Head Down, which was released on July 13 via Black River Americana. Centered around the harmonies of Ben and Emily Roberts, Lay Your Head Down is a heartfelt collection of original songs that capture two people’s moving journey through questioning, self-doubt and ultimately their perseverance.
Emily Roberts is a Lennox native, the daughter of Bruce and Joyce Olson — so her appearance in her hometown while on tour is especially meaningful.
The duo was named by Rolling Stone Country one of “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know,” earlier this summer saying the duo sounds like “Sonny and Cher meets Whiskeytown.” Though their dream of making a living in music is finally coming to fruition, it’s been a long time coming.
Carolina Story never said no to a gig. A bar, a church, a theater, a nursing home: the duo––made up of husband and wife Ben and Emily Roberts––crisscrossed the country for a decade, building a sprawling grassroots fanbase enamored with the pair’s smart, self-penned, harmony-laden Americana. Today, their new album Lay Your Head Down is a highly anticipated full-length debut on Black River. They’ve graced the Grand Ole Opry stage many times, won over critics, and inked a record deal.
Today, life is Ben and Emily’s shared dream come true. But getting here wasn’t easy.
Early on, tired and hungry, Carolina Story almost walked away. The two were living with Ben’s parents in Kingston Springs, outside of Nashville. “We’d just gotten off the road, and I was thinking, ‘Let’s just give up,’” Emily remembers. “I thought he’d be the positive one, but Ben said, ‘No, I agree.’” They went to the grocery store, defeated and lost. That’s when a woman approached them to tell them she’d seen them in a coffee shop in town and loved their music.
“She was very kind, but even though we heard it as a compliment, we were thinking, ‘This woman has no idea we’ve written our last song,’” Ben says, then laughs.
“We started to go down the next aisle,” Emily chimes in. “Then, she grabbed our attention once more and said, ‘Hey, I just really feel like I’m supposed to tell you guys to never give up.’ Well, that sent chills up our spines.” Emily pauses, reliving the moment.
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