Sherry Sebastian and Steve Armstrong are excited to be part of the new musical wave saturating Frankfort. The pair, who call themselves the Sherry Sebastian Duo, have played at several venues around town.
"A lot of places that we couldn't play before — you know like restaurants and smaller places — are starting to have duos come in to provide some background music and create a really nice ambiance for your meal," said Sebastian, who also serves as 1st District magistrate on the Franklin County Fiscal Court.
The two have been playing as a duo for nearly two years but have been part of various bands together for "at least a 25-year period," according to Armstrong. They met when he played in a band with Sebastian's brother-in-law at her wedding reception. Their musical relationship began when the band's singer was forced to leave.
"Well, the most visible person at a wedding is the bride," said Sebastian with a hearty laugh. "So they got me up there. A week later, my brother-in-law calls me and says, 'We've got to play a legislative party. We'd like you to be in the band, and it's in a week.' So I said OK and we did it."
The two found a mutual connection in their love for music. Sebastian provides vocals while Armstrong mainly plays accompaniment. Both grew up surrounded by music.
"We always had some kind of an old, beat-up guitar at the house," Armstrong added. "I bought my first real guitar when I was 12, and I've been in bands since I was about 16."
Some of Sebastian's earliest memories are incomplete without a radio broadcasting classics in the background.
"I lived out in the country, so we were a radio house," she recalled. "It was a variety of music. It could have been country, rock, blues, you name it."
Because both musicians were exposed to a vast array of genres from a young age, their repertoire is diverse and requests are rarely denied.
"We get so many requests," Sebastian said. "Steve will sit and work it out, and then just on the spot, we'll play it."
On Saturday morning, the Sherry Sebastian Duo played for nearly three hours at the Franklin County Farmers Market, closing their set with a simple but moving rendition of "Desperado" by the Eagles.
The two usually play an average of two to three gigs per month. They also play with their five-person band, Twist of Fate, about eight times per year, according to Armstrong. But even when the two aren't making music, it still occupies a large portion of their lives.
"Whatever I'm doing, I have music with me," said Sebastian. "If I don't have it, I'm either singing or whistling."
Armstrong says it's that same, nearly subconscious passion that keeps him playing.
"We don't do it for the money," said Armstrong. "We do it because it's in our souls and we love it."