OFFSTAGE: Lucky Numbers for Steel Magnolia

(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.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.