Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent crack jokes - a few about Vincent's height and thinning hairline - while on stage in between sets of gospel songs and country classics, such as "Elizabeth" and "Susan When She Tried."
A few minutes later, they're in the aisle of a Mississippi theater house singing their mountain music a cappella with a female fan from the audience. It's this kind of down-home charm that's helping the bluegrass duo win a broader fan base, which is exactly what they're after.
"They're following us on Twitter and Facebook. We do feel like we're chiseling away at it, and we're having some success," said Dailey, a 35-year-old who looks more rock star than bluegrass with spiky blond hair and a fondness for the music of Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan and Michael Buble.
Weeks after their third straight International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year Award, the duo is on tour singing covers from their latest album, Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers, a project of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Rounder Records.
In a few months, they'll head back into the recording studio to work with Nashville producer Garth Fundis, the man who gave Trisha Yearwood her hit, "She's in Love With the Boy." Fundis said he's hoping to do the same for Dailey & Vincent.
"I've got a stack of things I've pulled out of the files, songs I've saved over the years," Fundis said. "I'm excited about working with these guys. They just have an appeal to a mass audience. It's interesting to see people of all ages kind of gravitating toward bluegrass and acoustic music."
Vincent and Dailey are savoring the moment.
"You can't take anything for granted. We consider ourselves blessed," said Vincent.
The pair's success together has come in a few short years, but they're both veterans of the business.
Dailey was a lead vocalist for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver for nine years, while Vincent played mandolin and guitar alongside Grammy-winning Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder for more than a decade. Vincent, who said bluegrass "is in his DNA," also performed with his sister, bluegrass bandleader Rhonda Vincent, and Keith Urban.
Even after all these years, Vincent said there are times when he gets nervous before a performance.
"My heart and blood start pumping when we go around our peers at the Grand Ole Opry. I want to honor our fathers that have been here before us," said Vincent, 40.
The pair ran in the same circles for years, but it wasn't until Vincent was sitting in the IBMA awards show audience in 2001 and heard Dailey hit a high note that something clicked.
"I went up to him and said, 'I'm Darrin Vincent and I want to be your friend,'" he said.
Their first meeting to discuss a project together was at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Cookeville, Tenn. However, they didn't stumble across the magical blend of their voices until they harmonized on a tune as they rode in a car. Vincent described the sound as reminiscent of The Wilburn Brothers.
"We have a unique blend of vocal harmonies. It's uncanny. People were just smitten by it and just loved the way our voices blended," Vincent said. "We think alike and we sing alike. Everything we do seems like we're related, but we're not. I think the Lord gave us a gift and we were lucky enough to find each other."
Their self-titled debut album was released in 2008 and was followed by Brother From Different Mothers in 2009.
Dailey said the duo's gotten more exposure since they started playing venues that include performing arts centers that usually cater to classical and opera fare.
"When we ask people how many have not seen us before, it's about 95 percent of the audience," Dailey said.
Vincent and Dailey also credit the Cracker Barrel CD with giving them a new fan base since it's sold exclusively at all of the company's 596 stores in 41 states.
Peter Keiser, head of Cracker Barrel's music program, said the company had been aware of Dailey & Vincent since the act's inception. He said combining the brands just made sense, but was surprised when the album hovered around the top of the Billboard sales chart 19 weeks in a row.
"I didn't expect as much success as we received," Keiser said.
Dailey and Vincent believe their faith has had more to do with their accomplishments than talent. Vincent said they initially sought guidance from God about whether to form the duo, and now they're trying to use their success to help others.
The duo recently performed a concert in Gainesboro, Tenn., that raised more than $30,000 for the Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund, which provides financial assistance to meet medical and educational needs of disadvantaged children.
"If we never made a dime, it would be worth it," Vincent said. "A lot of folks come through our autograph line and they give a testimony of what a song has done for their life and just hearing that, makes it all worthwhile."