The Hornbuckles will audition for The Voice, then play at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse on Saturday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sarah Snead had been playing guitar and singing with the band The Rick Lewis Project for several years when the bass player’s brother, guitarist and, according to Sarah, “bachelor of the year,” Michael Hornbuckle, rejoined the group.
Sarah recalls thinking, “Yep, he’s it. He’s amazing.”
“So, I tricked him into going on a date with me after our first show,” she said.
A year later, he proposed, and the two were married in January 2018 and are raising Sarah’s children. Sarah Snead is now Sarah Hornbuckle, and as a musical duo, they’re The Hornbuckles.
What: The Hornbuckles
When: 9 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Feb. 23
Where: Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse, 60880 Routt County Road 129, Clark
The Denver-based team will play at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Before they merged their music, each had come out with a solo album that featured the other — SoulRepo, by Michael Hornbuckle in 2016, and Wake Tomorrow, by Sarah Snead in 2018.
To blend their music together, the two sat down last October to figure out what they wanted to pursue.
“It’s been recommended to us that we’re stronger together, and I’ve always agreed,” Sarah said.
Individually, their sounds aren’t similar: Sarah tends to gravitate to a country sound while Michael’s been a blues player since he was a kid, gradually adding an element of rock to his work.
“Together, we’ve made a blues soul,” Sarah said.
These changes have also influenced the mood of their music.
“Michael’s songs have always been darker. It’s easier to write about dark desperation than about being happy and in love,” Sarah said. “And now, he’s married with three children, and he’s like, ‘What do I write about now?’”
They figured it out. They began releasing videos of their music from their home studio.
“People just went wild for them,” Sarah said. “The overall reaction to us together was so supportive and just amazing that we said, ‘Let’s do this.’”
Both are still part of The Rick Lewis Project, but their main focus is The Hornbuckles.
“Something we have to be really conscious of is our egos and our pride,” Sarah said. “We’re two lead singers, so putting us together, we have to play to our strengths. And we do. Music is our love language; it’s part of our communication we have together as a couple.”
Within a few weeks of playing as The Hornbuckles, they got a call from The Voice, the Emmy Award-winning singing competition TV series on NBC, inviting them to audition. The audition is set for Friday, Feb. 22, in Denver.
If the duo passes their Denver audition, their next level will be an audition in California. If they pass that, they’ll get to do a televised blind audition when The Voice’s season begins. As the season progresses, contests participate in a Battle Round, Knockouts, Playoffs and the Live Performance Show, ultimately competing for the grand prize of a recording contract.
“We don’t really have a lot of expectations for the audition. We’re just excited for the opportunity,” Sarah said. “Even if the audition just means that we get to spend the day together, I know good things are happening for us.”
The day after the audition, the two will head north for their Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse show, where they’ll announce the results of the audition and play a night of their bluesy-country-rock fusion.
They’ll continue releasing singles and hope to release an EP in the next six months.
“We’ll be playing and working as much as possible, and seeing where this new stuff takes us,” Sarah said.
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