California-based husband-and-wife duo Andrew Stern and Laura Arias of 3 Pairs of Boots share a vast musical history as well as a talent for pairing catchy melodies with heartfelt messages. Married within a year of their first encounter, both artists experimented in a variety of different genres before solidifying their distinctive, Americana-leaning blend of folk, rock, and country as 3 Pairs of Boots. The unique connection between Stern and Arias drives the band’s sound as well as their songwriting: Influenced by genre-bending acts Fleetwood Mac, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, The Byrds as well as country icons Johnny Cash and Shania Twain, their music is rooted in rock-and-roll, with catchy melodic hooks and engaging, narrative storylines. As the main songwriter, Stern crafts songs that showcase Arias’s distinctive vocal delivery, while lead singer Arias focuses on fine-tuning the arrangements for performance. “I’m the technician,” says Stern, “and she’s the magic.”
3 Pairs of Boots released their debut album Gone South in July 2019, with singles premiering on Americana UK, Guitar Girl Magazine, B-Sides & Badlands, and The Bluegrass Situation. At the same time, Arias and Stern were also developing their YouTube series Cook'N' & Country, combining recipe demonstrations with live country music performances. In January 2021, 3 Pairs of Boots dropped their sophomore album Long Rider, a collection of twangy, bluesy Americana anthems written, recorded, and tracked by Stern in the couple’s home studio. Named after “Lady Long Rider” Bernice Ende, who traversed over 30,000 miles alone on horseback, the album celebrates the kind of gritty persistence that leads to true freedom. From catchy, bittersweet opening track “Quittin’ Time” (released in January 2021 with accompanying video from Nashville photographer Anna Haas) to the lush vocal harmonies and foot-stomping rhythms of “Everywhere I Go,” Long Rider offers a range of complex and compelling pop country anthems supported by a cast of top-tier artists (Nashville drummer Christian Paschall, photographer Eric Wolfinger, and GRAMMY-nominated mix engineers Bart Schoudel and Rob Beaton). Arias and Stern spent much of 2021 honing their technical skills and rearranging their home studio to produce three outstanding Livestream shows for fans during quarantine. They also wrote, arranged, recorded, and produced the third 3 Pairs of Boots album, Mighty Love, set for release in September 2022.
Laced with fresh sounds (including keys, B3 organ, horns, strings, banjo, and a Rhodes piano) and driven by a classic blend of acoustic and electric guitar, the new album Mighty Love reveals an expanded palette, more developed songwriting, and elevated production from the musical duo. Primarily written and produced entirely by Stern, the album was recorded in the couple’s home studio, featuring contributions from a host of high-level artists, including friend and lyric poet Wren Winfield (who co-wrote three songs with Stern), former Ringo Starr drummer Randy Cooke, Nashville keys player Dave Cohen, who was the 2018 Music Row Musician of the Year as well as a local string quartet (featured in “The Waiting”). Title track “Mighty Love,” written by Arias, sets a warm, buoyant tone that infuses the rest of the album. Lyrically, the writing balances both positive and negative views of our current world, blending candid personal reflections, narrative accounts of real-life experiences, and moments of thanksgiving for the good in everything. Several tracks on Mighty Love explore historical figures and events which parallel issues still plaguing the world today. The lyrics of “Labor Day” are based on the shipyard labor riots that occurred up and down the west coast in the 1930s, before dock workers unionized. “Just Call Him Love” tells the story of Nat Love, who was born a slave but later became a world-famous Black rodeo champion whose autobiography now resides in the Smithsonian. From the spirited accordion and banjo accents that fill upbeat single “Sweet Spot” to the layered vocals and billowing energy of “The Server,” which channels the pop-rock vitality of The Who, Mighty Love is an album of idiosyncratic and heartfelt expansion— where each song connects and empowers listeners to venture out into the world to demonstrate their own kind of Mighty Love.