A writer’s round at the Bluebird Café changed Kacey Musgraves’ life forever. And unlike most Nashville stories, it’s not because that was the night she was discovered. It was the night she saw her future husband, Ruston Kelly, sing for the first time.
“I decided to go to the Bluebird one night for a writers’ round, which I never do, because it’s so touristy,” shared the Texas native during an interview with HITS Daily Double. “Plus, I live a ways away, but I had a friend who was playing it, and I thought, ‘Well…’ I didn’t go with anyone, and I was sitting by myself at a table. Ruston played his first song, and I was just stunned by everything in it—the words, the melody, what he was saying. I was just sitting at this table, crying. When it was over, I went up and introduced myself. I said, ‘Hey, I don’t really ever do this, but here’s my number; I really wanna write with you.’”
It wasn’t until several months later that the two set up a time to write. Although she got cold feet and thought to cancel, Musgraves went through with the writing session.
“The second Ruston walked into my house, I felt like Dorothy when the colorized part happens in The Wizard of Oz,” she recalled. “We didn’t even write a song. We just talked, and talked, and talked. He didn’t leave until like 3 a.m. It was the easiest, most natural thing in the world—and I didn’t want it to stop.”
The ease with which they fell into their relationship was unlike anything Musgraves had ever experienced before. After falling out of a tumultuous relationship, she had no intention of dating for some time, but with Kelly everything came easily.
With a loving and secure bond, Musgraves also found herself writing songs about love and stepping back from the social commentary that first caught fans’ attention.
“I’ve never had love songs or relationship songs. I write about other things, other people’s stories or perspectives,” she explained. “When you’re with someone you truly love to the core and they feel that way about you, there’s no sense of panic—or that it’s going to come apart. I’m living in a much more positive light now. It’s maybe opened my heart a little. If your personal life isn’t crumbling, you can tackle anything with joy and light. I never felt like this. I was always fearful of putting myself too much out there. And I realized maybe I’ve been a little over-[self]protected. Maybe I can let loose a little more, trust more in the songs, what I have at home and out here.”
The shift in perspective was refreshing for the singer/songwriter, who eventually wed Ruston in October 2017. Much of his influence comes through on her latest album, Golden Hour.