(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Today is 1/11/11. That is one lucky set of numbers for Steel Magnolia because the duo’s debut album comes out today. But it may be even luckier, I think, because they are also nominated for an ACM Award for top new vocal duo. And just like you can hear the chemistry when they sing together — like on “Last Night Again” or the old Keith Urban song they’ve covered, “Homespun Love” — you can also sense that Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey will be doing a little harmonizing around the time the ACM Awards show rolls into Las Vegas, as well. In the casinos. After last year’s awards show, they went to a label after-party then did some gambling. “We played blackjack. We love it. In fact, I wish we didn’t love it so much,” Linsey told me last week. But at least they have a strategy to minimize their potential losses. “What’s good is that we go in with $20, and when we double it, we play with what we’ve won. We are responsible gamblers. You have to play big to win big. And we’re still struggling musicians,” she laughed.