For Blake Myers and Mitch McBain, their friendship and music are closely intertwined.
After all, the two guys who now make up the duo Rosehill first became friends because of their mutual love of Texas country.
“We didn't become friends until our senior year of high school,” McBain said. “Blake was having a soiree at his parents' house one night after a football game and a mutual friend of ours invited me over. There was a guitar laying around and I just picked it up and started playing it. And it was almost like a challenge, like Blake walked up and was like ‘Do you know any Texas country?' And I was like, ‘Well, yeah.'”
Their friendship began that night to the tune of Pat Green's “Nightmare.” Despite their divergent personalities, it has thrived through their two marriages, three childbirths (Myers and his wife have two children, while McBain and his wife have a daughter) and two different bands.
In music and in conversation, they maintain an easy, familiar harmony.
“Blake's the talker. I'm the rocker,” McBain declared playfully in a joint phone interview with his buddy and bandmate.
“Well, he's right, but I wouldn't say it like that. I would say that we do balance each other out,” Myers added wryly.
Oklahoma fans will get the chance to hear the charming duo live when they open for fellow Texas band Whiskey Myers on Saturday night at the Wormy Dog Saloon. Since McBain is originally from Yukon — his family moved to Texas when he was 8 years old — he especially enjoys performing at the Bricktown venue.
“Family and friends from way back come out and we get to play for them,” he said. “The Wormy Dog's been around forever.”
McBain and Myers, now 29, grew up together in Cypress, Texas, on Cypress Rosehill Road. Shortly after graduating as friends from Cy-Fair High School, they co-founded the alt-country band Texas High Life, which boasted a rocking sound and party attitude. The country quintet released two albums, opened for Texas music standouts like Honeybrowne and Bleu Edmondson but also weathered a tragedy when original drummer Keith Binder died.
After college — Myers went to Texas A&M in College Station, while McBain attended Texas State in San Marcos — the pals ended up back in their old neighborhood in Cypress.
Musically, they also wanted to get back to the kind of Texas country they initially set out to make, and a demo of their new songs caught the ears of Lone Star state music star Radney Foster.
“Radney told us, ‘You're a duo already; you just don't know it,'” Myers said.
Adopting the moniker Rosehill, the pair set out to become a true duo, one that would share singing, songwriting and musical duties.
That meant Myers had to get up to speed on his guitar work, while McBain had to overcome a learning curve on vocals.
Foster and Jay Clementi coproduced Rosehill's debut album, 2010's “White Lines and Stars,” which generated four top 15 singles on the Texas Music Cart. Their videos for “Midnight America” and the No. 5 hit “Dream It All Over Again” received extensive play on CMT “Pure 12-Pack Countdown.”
Last month, they filmed the video for “Did You Ever Turn Around,” the new single from their second album, “Crooked Thoughts.” For Rosehill's sophomore effort, Clementi took on a more hands-on producing role while Foster became more of an executive producer.
“It's more raw, a little less polished, a little more Blake and Mitch,” Myers said of their second album, which was released in October.
As they tour in support of “Crooked Thoughts,” the duo is marking 11 years of making music together. But their partnership is about more than songcraft and concert dates.
“What keeps us together first and foremost is our friendship,” McBain said.