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Country fans know “You Lie” and “All Your Life” as hits by The Band Perry. But many may not be aware that the songs were actually penned by another family trio: The Henningsens. Made up of dad Brian on bass, daughter Clara on vocals and son Aaron on guitar, the Illinois group is currently making an impact on country radio with their debut single, “American Beautiful.” In between recording their own forthcoming album, they somehow found time to co-write half of The Band Perry’s new record, Pioneer.
“When they were writing for their second album, we were fortunate to be included in their group of people they liked working with. We would go on the road with them when they were on tour, ride the bus and write songs,” says Brian Henningsen, who reveals that he and Aaron and Clara have a Henningsten/Band Perry co-write on their own album. “It has worked both ways. We have one on our first album, and a couple we’ve written with them that will be in strong consideration for our second album.”
Kimberly Perry says writing with another family band often results in a wealth of material.
“It’s a special relationship and it worked very differently on this album than the first,” Kimberly explains. “On Pioneer, we’d get the genesis of the idea together, and then [my brothers Reid and Neil and I] would revise, revise and revise again.”
The surprise benefit of a Band Perry and Henningsens writing session, however, is the chance to hear two strong female singers trade lines.
“It’s interesting to get Clara and Kimberly in a room together and listen to them sing,” Brian remarks.
So perhaps there's a chance of a duet one day?
Says the Henningsen patriarch: “That would be cool.”
Look for more on The Band Perry and The Henningsens’ relationship in The Band Perry cover story in the current issue of Country Weekly, on stands now.