Steel Magnolia had a rough year last year — to say the least. With rumors of a potential split circulating, the duo’s fans were left wondering what was going to happen to the ‘Keep On Lovin’ You’ singers in 2012, both professionally and personally, since the two had set a tentative July 2012 wedding date. And while the duo aren’t giving any details of the status of their relationship, Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey assure fans that they’re back in the studio working on new music and preparing for their upcoming ACM Experience appearance.

Steel Magnolia, who are currently nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year for their third consecutive year, told CMT in a recent interview that they’re just glad to be in the studio again and that the potential for new music and an appearance at the ACM Experience are even possible.

“We’re just really grateful that that’s happened,” says Jones. “I think every awards show is a milestone marker for us to have a chance and look back at what we’ve done in the past year. We’ve been through a lot this year. We’re making a record right now, and we’re really looking forward to the future and showing a new side of us, too.”

Things got a bit rocky in September of last year, when Jones admitted himself into a rehabilitation center for substance abuse, leaving Linsey to recruit James Otto to take his place for the remainder of their tour with Reba McEntire. While fans may have been alarmed by this turn of events, which also caused Steel Magnolia to leave Big Machine Records, Jones is confident that everything’s for the better.

“I just got out of a workout and I’m drinking a smoothie! So I’m doing great,” he pledges. “We can’t wait to get back on the road and reconnect. Life is really good, and I thank God for it every day.” Back in the studio, the two seem committed to taking everything that’s happened to them in the past year and channeling it into their new record, which will consist of some original songs as well as some from other writers.

“I think it’s going to be heartfelt. I think a lot of that will come through on the record,” Jones explains. “We want people to know another side of us and share that with the fans. At the end of the day, that’s what matters and that’s what feels great about being an artist and a singer — having that support system with your fan base and them accepting that. It’s fun, too, making a record. It’s been a while since we had a record out, and it’s time, I think. And it’s coming together nicely.”

Steel Magnolia will be performing at the ACM Experience free event on Saturday, March 31, at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

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