Billy and I met in the spring of 2005 while I was recording Jewell Ridge Girl. One of the songs cut for Jewell Ridge Girl, “Back Then,” caught Billy’s attention and he suggested that we consider a songwriting collaboration. We found that writing together came easy for us. We also started playing out together. We were getting a good response from audiences and loved performing as a duo. We wanted a CD for shows, but we felt like our sound was still developing, so we decided to release a few songs in our repertoire, but to wait a while for a full release. This is how Sweet & Toxic came to be.
What you have here are the very early days of Jeni & Billy when we had been playing and writing together for only a few months. Our love of both classic country duets and Appalachian ballads rings out in these songs — but our sound is still forming, raw and searching.
Like actors who don’t watch their own films, we don’t often listen back to our own records. But, when we do slide Sweet & Toxic back into our player, we are transported to a time when our duo was a new experiment and things were settling and the feeling was sweet. Still is!
– Jeni Hankins, January 2010