Music News

Pushing Chain: Two for the Road

Why two is better than six

Pushing Chain photo: Grant Frashier

Adam Moe plays fiddle and sings with guitarist Boyd Blomberg in Pushing Chain, a Minnesota-based folky-tonk duo which has been together in one form or another since 1997. The two are proud to say they’ll play anywhere at least once. They’re currently putting together a project with production duties (and some guitar) from the Titan of the Telecaster, legend Bill Kirchen.

Adam Moe


We asked Adam Moe, “Why haven’t you guys put a band together?”

Moe responded “As a duo, we have heard that question a lot,” and proceeded to tick off a handful of reasons we thought were worth sharing.


  1. Rehearsal and organization: Anyone who has tried to organize a band knows that it’s probably easier to catch chickens with a pair of tweezers. Sometimes it’s hard enough to synchronize two schedules. Four schedules falling into place—much less five or more—can be nearly impossible.
  2. Pure economics: At the end of the night, we split the money 50/50 rather than 25/25/25/25. When we stay at a hotel, we only need one room. We share gas on one small vehicle. The economics of the road makes traveling as a duo the smartest choice for our bottom line.
  3. Dividing work: In my experience, one band member tends to do the vast majority of the booking, promotion, etc., because, it’s just easier than trying to keep everyone on the same page. When there’s only one other person in the mix, if you drive four hours, your partner drives four hours. If you spend the day promoting next week’s shows, your partner can do maintenance on gear or catch up with emails.
  4. Two voices and two instruments: Your job is to entertain an audience, to keep attention on the stage and make people feel something using just those four tools, all while avoiding the pitfall of one song sounding the same as the next without resorting to drum solos. If you are having an off night (it happens to all of us) then your partner is there to help pick up the slack. I could go on and on about this one, but I love to face this challenge every time we hit the stage. There is nowhere to hide in a duo, and I like that a lot as a performer.
  5. Ordering pizza: The drummer is a vegetarian, the bass player is allergic to onions, you want pepperoni, and the lead guitarist demands anchovies (typical). This doesn’t happen with a duo….and if you find the right partner, neither of you will judge the other for ordering individual pizzas.

Pushing Chain begins recording its next CD at Congress House Studio in Austin, TX on March 26, with Bill Kirchen producing and Mark Hallman engineering.

For more information, visit the Pushing Chain WEBSITE 

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Buy current CD HERE

Connect with Bill Kirchen HERE

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