There was a time when it would have been an A&R no-brainer for a major label to sign an act whose praises were being sung by the likes of Keith Urban, Shania Twain and Sheryl Crow. But with the technological opportunities available today for enterprising do-it-yourselfers, success is now more attainable than ever without the assistance – or interference – of Music Row. The Young Fables is an independent act that is combining those opportunities with actual musical talent and an authentic sound that doesn’t need digital fixing.
A modern traditional country duo comprised of vocalist/guitarist Laurel Wright and guitarist/vocalist Wes Lunsford, The Young Fables have been raved about by the stars mentioned above and others, and have served as the opening act for Chris Janson, Sara Evans, Josh Turner and more. They are now making a name for themselves with the completion of a new full-length documentary, The Fable of a Song, and an upcoming new album, Pages.
The Fable of a Song recently debuted at the Nashville Film Festival, and was chosen from over 150 films as the recipient of the festival’s Audience Choice Award. The documentary tells the story of how the song “Daddy’s Girl” from their album Old Songs was written, and chronicles events before and after the unexpected deaths of Laurel Wright’s sister and father in 2018. The red-carpet showing of the documentary was particularly poignant for Wright, who lost both members of her family while the film was still in its formative stages.
“It was pretty overwhelming and exciting,” Wright said, “like, every emotion I could possibly have, came out that night. It was lots of mixed emotions, but the big one for me was that I was proud, and happy. It’s kind of crazy – it’s not like the happiest story, but that’s the song we wrote, those are the things that happened, and we had all this footage. So it’s like it was meant to be.” Negotiations are currently underway for the documentary to be commercially released by the duo’s management company, Hope Tree Entertainment.
Wright and Lunsford have been dropping digital singles, including “Over You” and “Look at Us,” in advance of the release of Pages. “Before quarantine we had done our third record,” Lunsford said, “but we held onto it until after quarantine. We’ve released three singles to streaming, and we’re going to be releasing a single every few weeks up until the end of the year.”
As with so many acts, The Young Fables are thankful to once again be playing live shows on the road. They recently played several dates in Michigan and did a week at Dollywood, and dates are filling up fast. “We go to Colorado at the end of the month for a week,” Lunsford said, “and then Texas, and we’ve got a bunch of regional stuff coming up.”
Before the Covid 19 pandemic arrived, TYF had also been performing in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand’s location of Loser’s, the Nashville-headquartered club whose owners include George Strait manager Erv Woolsey. “I loved Las Vegas,” Lunsford said, “but we were doing a residency and we played every single day so we really didn’t have a lot of time to get out and see everything. But next time I’d like to have a couple days on either end to really look around.”
As if they weren’t busy enough, The Young Fables will be presented with the Troy Gentry Compassion Award on November 3 at a STARS benefit event at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works. Named for the Montgomery Gentry singer who tragically perished in a 2017 helicopter crash, the award is presented annually to a group or individual (including past honorees Keb’ Mo’, Vince Gill and figure skater Scott Hamilton) who “reflect the compassion, commitment, kindness and love that Gentry embodied and shared with all who knew him.”
To keep up with The Young Fables, visit theyoungfables.com, and for more information about the STARS benefit, visit starsnashville.org/event/cherish-unplugged.