Before getting married on Dec. 5, 1993, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band co-founder Jeff Hanna and talented songwriter Matraca Berg bonded in a very sweet (literally) way. The two met on tour with Clint Black in the late 1980s, and before every show, they ate pie together — a tradition Berg says was “so country.”
“We were married to different people when we met. And, in fact, our spouses were friends of each other. It’s a long story. But both of our marriages imploded,” Hanna recalls, adding that, “after the dust settled” from his divorce, he was unaware that Berg had divorced as well.
When someone suggested that the Hanna and Berg write songs together, they did. Hanna describes his and Berg’s initial relationship as “pals,” but one thing led to another, and they began dating in 1991.
“… I’m really, really lucky,” Hanna admits. “Like one of my friends, in a football analogy, said, ‘You’ve out-kicked your coverage,’ is the way he put it. Or, ‘marrying up,’ is another one I like. She’s a really, really cool girl. And an amazing talent.”