Nashville duo playing at the Grand on Friday

NEW ULM – Dedication, passion and love are probably the words that describe best what music means to the Nashville-based husband and wife duo “You Knew Me When.” Cie and Karisa Hoover have made their dream to live for and from their music come true. The couple has played a couple of shows in New Ulm previously.

“We’re really looking forward to playing here again. It has always been a lot of fun, and we have made some good friends,” Cie Hoover said.

The pair has been touring the U.S. for two years now, and because Karisa is from Clear Lake, Iowa, the duo has a tendency to come through the Midwest. They do their own booking and always keep their eyes open for places to play.

“We had our first show in New Ulm a little over a year ago and came back a second time. It is a fun town, and we had a good laugh when we first got here, because one of the instruments Karisa plays is actually a glockenspiel,” Cie Hoover explained.

The Hoovers met in college, got married, lived in Nashville, Tennessee, for the past 13 years. Both worked full-time jobs – Karisa as an elementary school music teacher and Cie as an event production and marketing manager in the music industry.

“We went to Puerto Rico for our one-year wedding anniversary in 2009. We brought our instruments along, sat down and played together for the first time,” said Cie.

Two years ago, the couple decided to take a leap of faith. They were tired of not having enough time to play their music and to be creative. So they quit their jobs, rented out their Nashville home and started touring.

“Music is our great passion, it has always been; and it was definitely worth it,” Cie said.

The music of “You Knew Me When” can be best described as indie folk rock, combining progressive indie rock and jazzy piano driven compositions, infused with pulsing and stirring beats. Karisa plays the keyboard, ukulele and glockenspiel and lends her classically trained vocals to the music. Cie supplies the guitar, additional vocals and does percussion with his feet. One of his favorite songs to play is “Slow down,” which is about stopping and taking the moment in, about appreciating the little things.

They also appreciate the people that come to their shows, like Veronica and Mark Nelson of New Ulm.

“Last summer we went on a motorcycle ride to St. Peter and heard that they have live music on Sunday afternoons. That’s when we saw Cie and Karisa for the first time. After their performance, when they wrapped up their set, Karisa just walked up to us and started a conversation,” Mark explained.

When the Hoover couple came to New Ulm the following week, they had not made any arrangements on where to put their camper yet. So the Nelsons offered them their yard. When “You Knew Me When” came back for their second show in New Ulm, they actually stayed in the Nelsons’ home, and Veronica took them out for a photo shoot.

“We’re so excited to see them again on Friday. They will be staying at our house again. It has been so neat to watch where everything has gone and to follow their journey. Their music is so different from what you hear all the time. They are unique and have great voices,” Veronica said.

“They are living their dream,” Mark added.

“You Knew Me When” will be playing at the Grand in downtown New Ulm on Friday, July 25, from 8-11 p.m. To get an impression of what the couple’s music is like, visit their website

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