By Brian Ives (Interview by Annie Reuter) 

Should couples form musical duos together? Tough question, and there’s a long list, from Sonny and Cher to Captain & Tennille, where it hasn’t worked. So we put that question to Johnnyswim — made up of married pair Amanda Sudano (daughter of Donna Summer) and Abner Ramirez.

“I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody,” Ramirez tells, pausing and looking to his wife/bandmate, “You took a deep breath: you’ve got something great to say.”

“No,” Sudano says. “I’m curious what you’re going to say.”

This is how it goes with this pair. They give each other space, listen to each other, and  joke easily on and off camera, often finishing each other’s sentences.

Ramierez continues, “I don’t think it’s for everybody. I think we were completely made to do this together. I think we were made to be together, and write together, and sing together and everything. I wouldn’t recommend it to some couples [who] I know.”

“Yeah,” she responds, obviously knowing exactly who he’s talking about.

“I mean, they don’t need to spend every minute together like we do.” And they’ve been spending a lot of minutes together for most of the past decade: they formed Johnnyswim in 2005, and got married in 2009.

During their interview, Ramierez let it slip that Sudano recently was in the studio with Michael McDonald for an update on “You Belong To Me” on the upcoming Doobie Brothers record, which sees the group doing country updates of many of their biggest hits.

Related: Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Zac Brown, More to Guest on Doobie Brothers Country Album

While he was excited about the prospect of his wife appearing on a recording by a legendary band, he notes that he was in the studio, but only as a spectator. “I wasn’t producing it, and it was killing me to not be at the controls. It almost physically hurt!” But there’s little doubt that they’ll log many hours in the studio in the months and years to come.

The Doobies’ album will be out later this year. Meanwhile, Johnnyswim’s full length debut, Diamonds, is out April 29.


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