With their chemistry onstage, it may look like Rob Thomas and Charles Kelley have known each other for years. In reality, they first met during rehearsals for their new episode of CMT Crossroads premiering Friday (July 1) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
As a member of Lady Antebellum, Kelley previously performed on CMT Crossroads with Stevie Nicks. While confident that his solo pairing with the Matchbox Twenty vocalist would be a good combination, he admits, “You never know how it’s going to go.”
As it turned out, Thomas was very familiar with Kelley’s work, and Kelley soon realized they had a lot in common, including a sense of humor.
“We got on the bus, hit it off, started talking music,” Kelley says. “It was like, ‘This guy is kind of like me. We’re kind of like the same guy in a lot of ways. He’s a little crude. He’s a lot of fun. We like to enjoy ourselves up there.”
“There’s no pretense to anything he does,” Thomas said. “It’s just about writing a good song and going out and singing it.
Obviously, Kelley knew Thomas’ repertoire as a solo artist and in Matchbox Twenty.
“He’s an iconic rock star, you know. I still feel like this guy in a country band. This is an iconic, global rock star. In my band when I was 15 years old, we covered ‘3 AM’ and ‘Push’ and some other Matchbox Twenty songs.”
I wish I could have gone back and told that little boy at that time, ‘Hey, man, one day you’re gonna be onstage with this guy.”
Preview CMT Crossroads: Rob Thomas and Charles Kelley with their performance of “Smooth.”