While there's a chance you've never heard of the country/folk duo Bill & Bonnie Hearne, you've most likely heard of some of the artists they've influenced and some of their collaborators. During the husband-and-wife team's early years on the Austin, TX, music landscape, an underage, then unknown Nanci Griffith used to sneak into bars to hear them. Another upstart, Lyle Lovett, once opened a show for them. Consider also the star power that appeared on their 2000 album, Watching Life Through a Windshield: Emmylou Harris harmonizes on the Guy Clark tune "L.A. Freeway" while Chris Hillman joins them on a Dylan tune he first recorded as a member of the Byrds, "You Ain't Going Nowhere." Buck Owens even appears, duetting with Bill on "King of Fools." Bill and Bonnie Hearne, who are both sight impaired (she has been completely blind most of her life while he has limited vision), met at the University of Texas in the late '60s. They were already regulars in the Austin clubs in the early '70s when the town became ground zero for the outlaw country explosion. The couple moved to northern New Mexico in the late '70s. From that period until the early '90s, they released six albums on small labels. A best-of, Most Requested Plus, was put out on Poor David's Records in the mid-'90s. Bill and Bonnie have had a longtime Wednesday- and Thursday-night engagement at Santa Fe's venerable La Fonda Hotel, and it was there in 1999 that producer John Wooler happened to catch them, resulting in their inclusion on the I-40 Chronicles compilation alongside Willie Nelson and Joe Ely, among others. (It was released on Virgin's Americana imprint, Back Porch Records.) Wooler would also co-produce 2000's Watching Life Through a Windshield for the duo. ~ Erik HagePortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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