Walt Churchey and Jackie Kopco are two people with a shared passion: Playing Great Music.
Walt & Jackie share an affinity for songwriting that goes well beyond the years they have known each other. Though very different artistically, the unexpected blending of the sweet sound of Jackie’s melodic music with the rough-around-the-edges gruffness that Walt masterfully delivers is surprisingly fresh and delectable.
The writing of their much-anticipated flagship collaborative album, “Bare,” was an interesting challenge for the duo. Because each artist brings a significantly different style to the writing room, they had to find a way to make their collective voice shine through, without ignoring the individuals behind it. Throughout the writing process, some of the songs were like turning on a lamp: you reach over, hear the click, and immediately feel the warm, comforting glow of the emanating light. Other songs were more like that stupid fight you have with your best friend over and over and over again: you can’t quite seem to figure out what’s wrong, but you just keep banging away until something breaks. Either way, they worked tirelessly to be certain that every word and every note belonged to the story they were telling. They want their music to invite the listener in and to make him or her comfortable enough to visit time and time again. Their persistence has paid off, and the album has most certainly brought out the best of each songwriter’s talents. Their relatable lyrics bend perfectly around catchy melodies and inviting harmonies to show the listener the world through the eyes of a small-town dreamer.
Their follow-up album, Take Time, was easy and comfortable to write and record. Recording songs that have been a part of her since childhood, like Silent Night, and Silver Bells was an unexpected joy for Jackie, who never really considered that recording a Christmas album could be a reality. Walt, too, was in his glory surrounded by holiday sounds. The originals on this album were more one-sided, with the exception of the cover track. The haunting tune Christmas Day was a reflection of the way that Jackie enjoys the holidays – mostly by observing and enjoying the traditions built one holiday at a time. Walt’s Another Christmas stirs deep feelings of loneliness and duty demonstrated by families apart over the holidays because of service to one’s country. That song was exceptionally personal to Walt – his son was serving a tour of duty in Iraq when he wrote it. We also had the craziest photo shoot with this album – so. much. fun! We drove up on top of a snowy mountain, proceeded to immediately get the car stuck (many thanks to Eric and our prop carpet for getting it un-stuck), and then just basically played in the snow until our wonderful photographer Lynn said she had what she needed. This album was nothing but fun!
A year later, Walt decided that it was time to give the people what they want: a Neil Diamond cover album. It took many years, and many, many people asking, but alas, we have 12 Gems. Finally. The album stems from years of requests for Neil Diamond songs at his live shows. Walt has a knack for capturing the same feelings as Mr. Diamond always did – not an easy feat! His emotion translates beautifully on the album, and you will let it run on repeat more than once before you even realize it.