With touring on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, many artists have turned to streaming events to share new music with fans, and for Maddie & Tae, that means Christmas music. In October, the duo released their first-ever holiday project, a six-song EP titled We Need Christmas, and they brought the project to life with an appearance on Cracker Barrel's holiday special, Cracker Barrel Sounds of the Season. The special also featured Carrie Underwood and Runaway June, serving as a reunion of sorts for the three acts, who toured together last year on Underwood's Cry Pretty Tour 360.
"We just had so much fun catching up because we're all really close since we toured together last year, but it was just a really cool way to kind of kick off the holidays," Maddie Font told PopCulture.com. Cracker Barrel Sounds of the Season will premiere on Cracker Barrel's YouTube and Facebook pages on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. ET and will be available to watch throughout the holiday season. The special will feature Underwood performing songs from her new holiday album My Gift as well as performances by Maddie & Tae and Runaway June and musical collaborations between the artists.
Font shared that she and bandmate Taylor Kerr performed with Underwood's band to play their own songs and sing a collaboration with Underwood, which "turned out amazing." Along with performances, the special will also feature conversations between the artists as well as some holiday games.
Runaway June also released a holiday project this year, sharing their EP When I Think About Christmas in October, and Kerr revealed that she and Font "dove into" their former tourmates' new music as soon as it was released.
"We're kind of like Christmas junkies," she explained. "Everything Christmas, the movies, the music, all of it. We start basically super early in summer because we can't get enough, but Runaway June, specifically, I just thought the harmonies were so unique and intelligent and very The Chicks reminiscent. I just thought that was really cool that they just put such a unique twist on their music, and Carrie as well."
For their own EP, Font and Kerr chose four holiday classics and wrote two new songs, the EP's title track and "Merry Married Christmas," which they wrote with Kerr's husband, songwriter Josh Kerr. "[Christmas music] is very nostalgic, and I think with this year, for me personally, Christmas music is just like a constant," Font mused. "That does not ever change. That is what it is, and it's so traditional and classic, and I think just a little bit of that normal kind of consistent thing is so nice, especially this year."