The clichéd putdown “don’t quit your day job” has been hurled at many a talented musician over the years, but when the songwriting pair of Cie and Karisa Hoover did just that, they found the creative freedom to follow their dreams.
The husband-and-wife duo released their first album as You Knew Me When in late 2010, although it took them nearly a decade to reach that point. Eighteen months later, they took the next big step forward, leaving their full-time jobs and heading off from their Nashville home with plans to tour the U.S. for a year.
One year gave way to two, and by the time the couple returns to The Blu Pig for a 21-and-over show on Friday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m., Cie Hoover said they will have toured almost nonstop for three years.
“We don’t get back (to Nashville) all that often,” he said. “We’re on the road for about 95 percent of the year, I would say.”
The experiences they shared after they uprooted their lives and traveled from place to place inspired the indie-folk pop band’s new album “We Found Roads,” which captures You Knew Me When’s full-band sound as it’s heard on the stage.
The couple split vocal and percussion duties between each other; Karisa also plays the piano, glockenspiel and ukulele, while Cie plays guitar and other “rhythmic nuances.”
When they went to work on their last album, the couple recorded songs with other musicians who filled in on bass and drums. But Cie Hoover said they soon learned that those tracks turned out differently when just the two of them performed it live.
“People weren’t hearing what we’d recorded,” he said.
While their new songs are truer to the band’s recordings, they reveal nothing about Cie Hoover’s musical tastes at a formative age.
“Growing up, I was more into hard rock, and even the metal scene a bit more,” he said.
As for Karisa Hoover, she’s a classically trained musician who is partial to Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan.
“It’s an interesting melding of two very different mindsets,” he said.
The couple have been writing songs together as You Knew Me When since 2009. Before they hit the road three years later, Cie worked as global event production manager for Gibson Guitars, while Karisa served as music teacher at a public school in Nashville.
Cie Hoover said the couple loved their jobs – his job, in particular, gave him the chance to attend music festivals, event planning and trade shows and the Grammy Awards each year. But they found that they had little time devote to their shared songwriting interests.
“We still had that drive, and our jobs didn’t allow us to pursue that,” he said.
On the road, the couple are always meeting new people and seeing different parts of the country. They try to book shows in beautiful places, he said, and if they have any down time, they camp out and recharge their batteries.
Moab is one of the places that they keep returning to – Cie Hoover has been in love with the area since he first visited Arches National Park as a child.
“We’ve had the pleasure of getting down there a few times,” he said. “We found it to be a fun spot.”
The Blu Pig owner Jake Tanner has caught You Knew Me When live during each of their past appearances in Moab, and he said they’re a great live band that always manages to entertain the crowds.
“We enjoy them every time they’re in the area,” Tanner said. “It seems like they’re pretty consistent in picking us as a venue when they come to Moab, which is exciting for us because they’re so talented.”
You Knew Me When returns to Blu Pig on Sept. 4
“It’s an interesting melding of two very different mindsets.”
When: Friday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m.
Where: The Blu Pig’s Blu Bar, 811 S. Main St.
Cost: Performance is free; 21 and over
“We Found Roads” is now available on the band’s website at www.youknewmewhen.com, or through iTunes and other online retailers.
The Blu Pig is located at 811 S. Main St.