Photo credit to http://www.eliyoungband.com/#/about
Texas natives Eli Young Band had the crowd dancing and singing acapella to their hit song “Even if it Breaks Your Heart” at Miami Valley Gaming on Thursday, August 4 in Lebanon, Ohio. Their inaugural performance in the grandstands captivated the crowd and lit their dreams on fire. Lead singer, Mike Eli, told a story about how a fire got lit inside himself as a child.
After seeing Garth Brooks in Houston as a young boy, Mike Eli told his parents, “This is what I want to do with my life. As you can imagine I had two very different reactions to this news. Mom on one had said, ‘Son, you go out there and you follow your dreams.’ This is the part where I knew she was lying to me. She said, ‘If anybody can do it, you can.’ I was ten years old. Dad on the other hand said, ‘Son, for the last ten years of your life, I’ve been working three jobs for you to have an opportunity for you to go to college or just make something with your life. I promise to the good Lord right here and now, if you do not go to college, I will kick your ass.’ So I went to college and the first week I met these guys and we formed a band. This song is for all you dreamers out there (Even if it Breaks Your Heart).”
“In the music business, sometimes you wonder whether or not you picked the right tunes, but every now and again you write a song that makes you feel like you belong here. I wrote this song, it’s absolutely one of my favorite songs I’ve been a part of writing. I wrote this song with Mr. James Young (guitarist). We wrote this song about a girl named Guinevere.”
They share more of their journey as a band at http://www.eliyoungband.com/#/about :
With three No. 1 hits under their belt as well as a Grammy nomination and an Academy of Country Music Award for Song of the Year for their hit “Crazy Girl,” the Eli Young Band approached their second Republic Nashville album, 10,000 Towns, with a sense of confidence and purpose. “We knew what we wanted and how to get what we wanted.” It’s been a long, steady rise for Jones, Thompson, lead vocalist Mike Eli and guitarist James Young, but the same four musicians have been together from the start and are now reaping the rewards.
“This record (10,000 Towns) was a lot more upbeat than our previous records,” agrees Young. “We really wanted to record songs that are going to be fun to play live and fun for our fans watching the show. We were thinking about our live show and how these songs are going to translate on the set list. That was a priority in our minds too when we chose songs for this record. We’ve also learned to really follow our gut when it comes to songs and song choices. We’ve always had a good sense of what songs are going to work on the record and which ones aren’t.”
There have been many miles over the years for the Eli Young Band and that’s why 10,000 Towns felt like the right title for their new effort. “There’s a general theme between small town America where every town is different, but in some ways, they are the same,” says Young. “We felt like the title encapsulated the best years of us driving all over the country playing music.”
Eli agrees. “We’ve traveled all over the country and to other countries, but at the end of the day we all party the same way no matter what the culture or the town,” he says. “To us, ‘10,000 Towns’ is a great way to sum up this record in that way as well as who we are. We love traveling around the country and seeing all that and being a band of road dogs.”
The Eli Young Band has worked hard to get to this point and is enjoying their current success the same way they earned it together. “We’ve surpassed the friend mark now and it’s more like brothers. It’s really kind of a blood bond between the four of us,” Jones says. “We set out to do this as a career and made the commitment to each other a long time ago and here we are 14 years later. None of us can imagine doing anything else.”
Listen to their new single Saltwater Gospel:
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