When Maddie & Tae open the 2022 "CMT Next Women of Country Tour Presents: All Song No Static Tour" tonight in Oklahoma City, they'll do it as an unofficial trio.
At the end of last year, the best friends – Taylor Kerr and Maddie Font -- were forced to reschedule their tour dates when Kerr faced pregnancy complications. However, everyone is healthy now, and baby Leighton is joining the duo on the road.
"It's going good," says Kerr. "Leighton is a pro traveler. She is so easy on the road, and she loves new environments. She loves people. She was kind of made for it, and it's been great."
Leighton, who is almost eight months old, was born about three months early and came home following a 53-day stay in the hospital. Kerr was admitted to the hospital one month before her daughter was born. Now the baby girl is trying to learn to roll over, which her mom says she has "zero interest in."
"She just entered this new phase of wanting," Kerr says. "She's very alert and observant, and she wants to touch everything that I have."
Kerr says Leighton reaches for her iced coffee in the mornings; she tells her daughter that it's cold and she won't like it.
"She's just so curious," Kerr says. "She's so excited about life."
The new season is a sweet one for the friends. In addition to the baby, the women won the 2022 CMT MUSIC AWARDS for Group/Duo Video Of The Year. And this is the first headlining tour they've done in seven years.
"This is a really big deal for us," Font says. "We're going to venues that we haven't been in in seven years and seeing fans we haven't seen in forever. We're really excited. We're kind meshing the first record, the second record, and now this third project and trying to give like a great balance."
The debacle of which songs to play amuses the women because they well remember their first headlining tour when they didn't have enough original music to fill the set.
"Now we have this beautiful problem where we don't know what to play," Font says. "So it's crazy how much has changed in seven years. Our fans can definitely look forward to a very high-energy show."
Maddie & Tae's most recent releases include their "Through The Madness" volumes one and two. Each volume is home to eight songs, and the women say they were dedicated to choosing music that felt real to their lives in the moment. "Through the Madness Vo. 2" will be available Friday, Sept. 23.
"We divided up those songs, and volume one is like an intro into it," Font says. "And volume two, we take a deeper dive. We're always diving deep and always really getting into the nitty-gritty of life and emotions. I feel like volume two is definitely a level up, lyrically. Not that volume one isn't still great. We still love her."
Kerr says the duo's path between headlining tours has been packed with ups and downs. Whenever the women thought they were moving forward, they had to take several steps back. But, Kerr says, their fans pull them through the frustrations of the business side of the music business.
"They're so patient with us whenever we're like, 'Okay, it's going to be a few years in between records or songs or singles while we try to figure out all the business side of things,'" Kerr says. "They're so patient. But also, just our perseverance and our resilience as women and as a duo and as humans walking this human experience, we're really proud of the people we have become and the music we've created through the madness. Literally, that is why we named the record that."
Abbey Cone and SACHA, who are also members of CMT Next Women of Country, will join Maddie & Tae on tour.