The love story of Music City’s Rachyl and Kerry Degman embodies the classic line, “when you know you know.”
She took a major leap of faith when she accepted Kerry’s marriage proposal and decided to move to Nashville with him five years ago. The couple’s whirlwind romance started as a six-month relationship while they were both living in Los Angeles. But it was later when their relationship went south and they had been broken up for six months when Kerry realized that if he wanted to pursue music full-time, he had to be in Nashville.
“We have a pretty tumultuous story,” Rachyl told CMT.com at the network’s Nashville headquarters. “We only dated for six months and then we broke up for six months. And then he asked me to marry him and move here. We got married in Telluride, Co. the way here. So, we weren’t really engaged at all, and we didn’t know each other that well. When we dated for six months, he wasn’t even that interested music. He liked music but I never saw him sing or anything. The first week we got here, I pretty much realized, ‘I’m not sure what I just did.’”
As a non-musician with a musical husband, Rachyl, a Denver native, didn’t feel a connection to Nashville when the couple first arrived. She wants to pursue a career in public defense, and as often as Kerry locks himself up in a room to write songs for hours, she tries to hole up in a quiet place to study for the LSAT.
“I think I’m definitely having an attitude change toward the city the more we’re here and the more I see Kerry’s progress," she says. "He’s really talented and I’m proud to show my family his music. Artists who succeed and are really talented, they probably pissed off their family by locking themselves in their room to write music for hours, and I do support it. But in the moment, I’m not that selfless.”
Now that the couple is raising their two-year-old son, Wolfgang, Nashville officially feels like home to Rachyl.
“He hasn’t really lived elsewhere,” she says. “So I think the more Wolfgang grows here, and we form connections with him through life, the more Nashville is home. Most of our friends are single with no kids. But all of our friends have come together for us, and they’ll babysit for free. If people invite us to a birthday party at their house, they know Wolfgang’s coming.”
Being a parent makes you want to be a better person because you see yourself through your child. Everything you do, everything you say, they’re just going to copy you, even the way you treat each other. So how Kerry and I treat each other, Wolfgang picks up on all of that. So naturally, he picks up on his dad’s music. I’ve heard all his songs a billion times. I know every word. I know every bridge, melody. We’re his first audience.
Kerry’s not a communicator. He’s not trying to be a jerk as far as calls and texts. He’s just focused, and he’s just one of those guys who’s just not a phone person. He has gotten a lot better. And so the first couple of years of our marriage when he was traveling, it was hell because it was like he disappeared, and he’s nowhere to be found. But he’s gotten better at learning to respond on the phone, and I’ve gotten better too at being patient with him. That’s how he shows me he loves me when he’s away. He makes an effort to respond to different texts or calls, and I try to make an effort just to be patient.
Kerry is a lot more likely to FaceTime with me because he wants to see Wolfgang, and he wants to see me, too, of course, but Wolfgang’s changing so fast, and I’m just going to be me. Kerry was gone when he learned to walk. He was gone when he learned to crawl. He was gone when he said his first words. I got his first crawl on camera, and I think I got his first steps on camera so I could show Kerry. But he missed out on a lot of that.
Alisa, Jessica and I, we’ve all grown closer. Alisa and I have probably spent the most time together. And she is good people. She’s so supportive. If anybody hurt me or did anything to me, she’d be the first person I’d call. J Mack’s the same way, and J Mack and I are a cool friendship because we’re so different from one another, and so we learn a lot from each other.
We try to be as honest as we can because otherwise, why would we do it if we’re not going to be authentic? I think I would just want fans that watch Music City to feel encouraged. It shows a lot about our marriage, a lot about our relationship, the mistakes that I’ve made and the mistakes that Kerry’s made. I really want to encourage married people to do the work that it takes to try. Usually, if you leave a marriage and go looking for something else, you’re not going to find what you’re looking for. It’s better to stick it out and put the work in as long as it’s not an abusive relationship or anything like that. So fans will see our struggles, but I want them to see that we always push through.
New episodes of Music City air on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET. Additional videos and full episodes are available at the Music City show page on CMT.com and the CMT app.