Country duo aim to start some fires

Striking Matches
Striking Matches
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If you’re a fan of the country music-themed drama Nashville, the chances are that you’re already familiar with Striking Matches’ music.

Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis have had several of their songs featured in the hit show based around the country music mecca.

But with their debut album Nothing But The Silence now out, they have been busy making a name for themselves.

The pair met about eight years ago on their very first day at Belmont University in Nashville where they were majoring in guitar, and struck up an immediate musical friendship.

As Justin explains: ‘We were freshmen at the time and there was a bit of a first day hazing where they were making the freshman get up two-by-two and improvise something with this stranger they paired you with.

‘Sarah was the only girl in the class. Nobody had ever really seen a girl guitar player before so no-one really wanted to be paired with her.’

But his reticence proved misplaced: ‘There was this immediate thing. We played and I asked if she knew any blues. She pulled out her slide and blew everyone away.

‘We never did quite graduate because things got a bit too busy with the band.’

Their link with the TV show has proved to be a useful one for the duo.

As Sarah says: ‘We have a publishing deal with Universal Publishing, when Universal realised the music supervisors of the show were in Nashville looking for songs. This was back before the show had aired and they were looking for songs.

There was this immediate thing. We played and I asked Sarah if she knew any blues. She pulled out her slide and blew everyone away

Justin Davis

‘They asked them to come by the office and we played three songs live for them, including the first song we had on the show – When The Right One Comes Along.

‘They became big fans really fast so we got to strike up a relationship with them and they’ve latched on to a bunch of our stuff.

‘We’ve been told that they wanted to use so much that they actually wrote scenes around the songs.’

They’ve even appeared in a scene, but as Sarah adds, laughing: ‘I think we got enough of an acting taste to realise that’s not our calling.’

The album was produced by roots music heavyweight T-Bone Burnett, which Justin describes as ‘a dream come true experience. He’s got this massive resume and should be this imposing figure but he makes you feel so at home and comfortable, like you can do anything at all.’

Striking Matches play at The Wedgewood Rooms on Wednesday. Tickets £12.50. Doors 8pm. Go to