Colleen and Paul sing it all

The songwriting pair open for Bidiniband, and might just steal the show.

"I'm a princess and I live in the tower spa, and I'm having a mud bath now," says musician Colleen Hixenbaugh, pulling off a snobby air before bursting out laughing. Hixenbaugh is using a phone at the spa of the Ontario inn where she's staying, after a show with husband Ron Sexsmith the evening before. And she's anything but a snobby princess. The former By Divine Right member speaks candidly about her musical shyness and her current project: being the "Colleen" half of Colleen and Paul. Musician Paul Linklater---of The Pinecones---is Colleen's second musical half, and it's a partnership that constantly surprises Hixenbaugh. "I've never had this chemistry with someone that it's pretty effortless," she says, adding that the two started a rock duo called Jack and Ginger years ago, before morphing into Colleen and Paul. They met when Hixenbaugh saw Linklater perform in 2003, and she asked him to be her guitar teacher. "I watched Paul play and he just blew my mind," says Hixenbaugh. After the first guitar lesson, Linklater said he didn't want to continue because he didn't want to mess up Hixenbaugh's style. "But I'll get together and play with you if you want to," he said, and that was that. Hear the songwriting pair open for Bidiniband this week, before they release their first album in July.