What is it about duet songs that make them so appealing? Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that they are very often the kind of songs most people find irresistible – or rather an emotion-stirring love song. It’s also because the blending of two voices is an enchanting thing, whether singing in harmony, unison or as call and response. The best duets move us in ways that other songs may not. Recently Little Rock, Arkansas native, Pamela Hopkins – a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist – got together with fellow artist Matt Dame to put together a stunning love anthem, entitled “Little Things”. The interesting thing to note, over and above the music, is that both artist are ex police officers, now following their primal passion for music. So who still says cops don’t have hearts?
“About a year and a half ago, I had this idea of writing a duet with a male singer. At the time, I just knew it was going to be some sort of love song,” explained Pamela Hopkins, describing how the song, and collaboration came about. “It wasn’t until almost the summer of 2020 that I had the title for it and an idea for the song. In my mind, it was going to be this amazing love song about all the little things that make people stay together and stand the test of time. The challenge was to find the right male voice and co-writer to help me complete my vision of what I had going on in my head,” she concluded.
That male voice and co-writer just happened to be Matt Dame, who was initially suggested to Pamela via one of her former Captains. Eventually they hooked up to write the song, before actually meeting in person to complete the project with Pamela’s producer P.T. Houston. Country music has a long and revered history of duets, with some legendary pairings – George Jones and Tammy Wynette; Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline; Johnny and June Carter Cash; Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton.
Great country duets are not consigned to a bygone age, though. Pamela Hopkins and Matt Dame, in their own unpretentious way, are no less enchanting on the ear. It helps that the atmosphere and instrumentation was carefully crafted to get the best out of them by P.T. Houston.
“You know when to get close and when to stay away. You know how to bring the sun to my darkest days. You know just what turns me off and just what turns me on. Like the way you call me baby and hold me all night long,” are the opening call and response lines, which launch the song straight into our hearts and mind. Matt Dame’s baritone is at once powerful and resonant, while the emotional poignancy of Pamela Hopkins voice is immediately captivating.
Together, the two singers drive home the lyrics and core meaning of the song. The duo put tremendous passion into their singing, and their performances are both, informed and inspired by the “Little Things”. Proof that great country duets can also come together by chance, when there is talent to spare.