PELL CITY -- When Two Halos Shy opens for Confederate Railroad on Thursday in Pell City, the teenaged duo – comprised of Madibeth Morgan and Anna Tamburello – will bring to the stage smooth, tight harmonies indicative of an offstage friendship.
But things didn’t start out that way for the two teenagers, who met through Nashville Bound, a program aimed at teaching songwriting and performing skills to aspiring young musicians.
“The first time we met, Anna didn’t even talk to me,” the extroverted Morgan said. “She just waved at me.”
Tamburello laughed as she recalled the incident. “Yeah, I’ve definitely been brought out of my shell a lot,” she said.
The duo’s stage presence belies any reserve Tamburello may exhibit off stage, as ticket holders will see for themselves when the curtain opens at 7 p.m. at the Center for Education and Performing Arts (CEPA).
Reserved seating is $20, and VIP tickets – which include admission to a 6 p.m. meet-and-greet reception with the performers and a performance by Melissa Lee, a Nashville, Tennessee, country artist touring with Confederate Railroad – are $40 each. Doors and the box office open at 6:30. To order tickets, call 205-338-1974 or 205-332-1961.
Founded as a bar band in Marietta, Georgia, Confederate Railroad backed up David Allan Coe and Johnny Paycheck before rising to fame during the 1990s by producing such country rock hits as “Queen of Memphis,” “Jesus and Mama” and ”Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind.”
The group released its most recent studio album, “Lucky to Be Alive,” in July.
The significance of opening for a big-name act such as Confederate Railroad isn’t lost on Two Halos Shy.
“We’re so excited,” Tamburello said. “I’ve always loved their music, and my parents are big fans, so it’s really exciting that I’m getting to open for them now.”
Said Morgan, “It’s a really big deal. I think it’ll be a great experience.”
The duo has already enjoyed good experiences since coming together, including being named a semifinalist from a field of thousands of performers who entered this year’s Southern Original competition, seeking an opportunity to open for Eric Church at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam.
It has also performed at the Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival, the FloraBama, Mid-South Fair, The Listening Room and CMA Fest at the Tin Roof in Nashville, WorkPlay in Birmingham and in Pell City at the Logan Martin LakeFest and Boat Show, and Jack Rousch events at Town & Country Ford.
Both play mandolin and guitar and began performing while still in elementary school.
“I’ve been singing all my life, but I think the first time I was on stage was when I sang a Taylor Swift song with two other girls in the third-grade talent show,” Tamburello said. Morgan can’t remember her first performance, “but it was probably in first or second grade. Whenever there was a party or karaoke, I was always there singing.”
Currently working on their first album of original material, the two friends consider writing and performing the easiest parts of pursuing a career in music.
“The hardest part is getting people to take us seriously,” Tamburello said.
Said Morgan, “People don’t expect musicians as young as we are to have very much to offer. But we work very hard, and we love to surprise people.”