As the adage goes, there is no second chance to make a good first impression — a point not lost on Pat Pollifrone and Todd Hanchock.
The pair make up the country duo Adairs Run and they will be making their mainstream debut on the premiere episode of Real Country, airing Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network. While they aren't a newly discovered act, for many tuning into the program it will be a first look at the band.
“Unlike other singing shows, everybody on the show is experienced and road worn or had songs on the radio,” Pollifrone told PopCulture.com. “So it wasn’t like being around a bunch of newbies.”
In the series, all 21 contestants were hand selected by the show’s prominent panel of artists: five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Shania Twain; platinum-selling, singer-songwriter Jake Owen, and GRAMMY Award-winning legend Travis Tritt.
Pollifrone and Hanchock are members of Team Jake Owen, and there's already a familiarity between the three as Owen is an artist that Adairs Run has worked with in the past. The duo says the way Owen interacts with them makes them more comfortable going into the show.
“With Jake, just the way he comes across, he’s down to earth and he gets it,” Hanchock said. “He knows what it’s like to be on the level where you’re working hard for years and you’re just trying to get your name out there more and the encouragement and motivation he gave in some pep talks, it was awesome and I respect him a lot for that.”
Both Pollifrone and Hanchock can attest that they have learned a lot from other musicians they've worked with — which include superstars Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line — and that exposure to creative innovation helps them to form new ideas for their performances.
“We get a lot of tips from them just by watching the shows,” Hanchock shared. “We’ll go to their concerts even when we’re off.”
The duo formed in 2009 and stayed close to home when they started their musical journey in West Virginia, in addition to its neighboring states. After realizing music was what they wanted to do full time, they made their move to the country music capital.
“We moved to Nashville in 2012,” Pollifrone explained. “We thought we were really good when we moved down here and then we got here and realized, ‘Okay, we have some work to do.’"
“That’s the best thing about this industry and this business and music in general. It doesn’t matter if you just play at home, there is always room to grow and there is always notes to take,” Pollifrone added.