Musical Match-Making: Six St. Louis Musician Couples Share Their Experiences

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Allan Crain
Gene Starks and Devon Cahill of Letter to Memphis

LETTER TO MEMPHIS

Couple: Devon Cahill and Gene Starks
Romance cred: Engaged, together for four years
Cahill's role in the band: vocals, ukulele
Starks' role in the band: guitar, vocals

Best part about working together
Cahill: Being in a romantic partnership takes a lot of work: working to pay the bills, to communicate, to build trust and commitment. For me, music is kind of like the opposite of work. It provides some of the most beautiful moments I have the pleasure of having and the best escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life I've experienced. When Gene and I are performing the songs we wrote together, I feel supercharged being on stage next to him. The creativity and connection we share makes all the everyday work seem trivial, and I feel fortunate to get to share those moments with the person I love, work hardest with, and who knows me best in life.

Worst part about working/performing together
Starks: If one or both of us is stressed out or having a bad day, we could be bickering with each other all the way up to the venue door. Usually though, once we get started and the first chord strikes, it sort of melts away. We have yet to come out of a show like that still fighting at the end.

A funny thing about performing together is...
Cahill: Really early in our career, we were playing a gig and we were short a vocal mic so we had to share. Right in the middle of a lovely rendition of the Mamas & the Papas' "Dedicated to the One I Love," Gene leaned into the mic to sing his backing vocals and I just started laughing. Why? I have no idea. Even worse, I couldn't stop after I saw my mom in the audience cracking up, too. Trying to sing Mama Cass vocals through that was quite a challenge!

Advice to other lovebirds starting a band together
Starks: Learn to balance the integration with the separation of the musical aspect with the non-musical aspects. Let your life guide your art together, but don't let your life together overwhelm your art.

Letter to Memphis on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lettertomemphis

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