Event Details

Eli Young Band

GMC Presents

Eli Young Band

Ryan Beaver

Fri, November 11, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Minglewood Hall

Memphis, TN

$25.00

This event is all ages

Eli Young Band
Eli Young Band
The ELI YOUNG BAND has always been unique in modern Country music – a true band of brothers who play their own instruments, write their own songs and cling fast to their Texas roots. They’d even go so far as to call themselves “misfits,” but with their fourth major label album, FINGERPRINTS (The Valory Music Co.), they’re finally embracing what makes them different once and for all.

“With 17 years of experience comes a little bit of wisdom and freedom in knowing who you are,” says lead singer Mike Eli. “And what you’re really good at.”

Although their sound has evolved over time, what they’re good at has always been the same – organic, live-show focused Country dripping with authenticity and perfected in clubs, amphitheaters and stadiums from coast to coast.

Eli founded the band with guitarist James Young, bassist Jon Jones and drummer Chris Thompson at the University of North Texas in 2000, building a grass-roots fanbase that propelled each of their previous three albums into the Top 5 of Billboard’s Country Albums chart, with 2014’s 10,000 TOWNS bowing at No. 1.

Three No. 1 singles gave the band an edgy, romantically-charged identity (“Crazy Girl,” “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Drunk Last Night”). Their stable of hits collected Platinum and Multi-Platinum certifications that lead to Grammy and CMA Award nominations, Billboard Awards and an ACM trophy for Song of the Year (“Crazy Girl”). All of these accolades combined with their loyal fanbase and successful touring have resulted in over 500 million streams of their career catalogue.

Confident in their soulful, hearts-on-fire brand of Country, the group headed back into the studio to co-produce FINGERPRINTS alongside Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover. Eight of the 11 new tracks were penned by the band members themselves. They’ve returned to a live-show-first mentality, trading in studio tricks for the “meat and potatoes” of a touring band; ringing guitars, driving bass lines, thundering drums and heartfelt, genuine vocals.

“There were so many organic sounds on those first records, and you can hear a lot of that in this album,” says Eli. “But mostly, I think it’s about passion and soul and believe-ability.”

Co-writing with some of Nashville’s hottest hit makers like Ashley Gorley, Lori McKenna, Ryan Hurd and Shane McAnally, that honesty is paired top-notch song craft and vivid imagery.

The album’s FINGERPRINTS title comes from a fist-pumping anthem about a smooth romantic criminal, but its meaning invokes the band’s quest to unmask themselves. No two fingerprints are the same, and their newest collection represents the most personal music they’ve ever made.

“So many of the songs we were writing and connecting with felt personal,” Eli continues. “So many songs came from a place of passion, and something I just really wanted to say.”

New single “Skin & Bones” is a prime example. A tender, epic love song built on real-life devotion and decorated with a dash of Tejano flair, it’s a direct reflection of Eli’s enduring love for his wife, Kacey.

“Walking into the writing room with Phil Barton and Lori McKenna was such a treat,” he explains. “I felt in my gut we were gonna walk out of that room with a special song, and it turns out we did. My wife and I have been together for a lot of years now, and there comes a point where so much of who you are is intertwined and connected. You sometimes lose that line of where they end and you begin.”

Meanwhile, the band was keenly aware of longtime fans’ thirst for “old school” EYB, and their calls on social media led to one of the project’s most nostalgic and heartwarming standouts, “Old Songs.” A feel-good anthem about days – and tunes – gone by, the song celebrates happy memories in a way that harkens back to their first Gold single, “Always the Love Songs.”

“When somebody says, ‘We love the old stuff,’ so much of that is built around the memories that come along with the old songs,” Eli says. “When you hear one, they come back right away.”

Backed by harmonica and perfect for a campfire sing along, Carolyn Dawn Johnson provides gorgeous backup vocals on the track, as she does on another laid-back, life-is-good ballad – “God Love the Rain.” But the band was also excited to revisit its rocking side.

“I think we pushed ourselves to dial it up a notch,” Young says, flashing a playful grin. “Maybe that’s why a lot of this reminds us of our earlier days.”

Songs like “Drive,” “Once” and “The Days I Feel Alone” will energize established fans and newcomers alike, while the clever “Never Land” offers a soaring fairy-tale head fake.

An irresistible groove defines “Never Again,” and even songs the band did not write – of which there are only three – feel incredibly true to them ... just like some of their biggest hits. “Heart Needs a Break” is so catchy it can’t be ignored.

“The first time you hear it, you’re singing along,” says Eli. “We were lucky with ‘Never Again,’ ‘Heart Needs a Break’ and ‘Saltwater Gospel.’ We knew right away that we needed to record those, and songs like that seem to end up like ‘Crazy Girl.’ They’re undeniable.”

What’s also undeniable is the band’s unique connection with fans. Even through sonic evolutions and changes to the Country industry, their obsessive following has continued to grow as “Saltwater Gospel” became one of the best reactions from Highway listeners all year on SiriusXM. And that they put on one of the best loved live-shows around – the very fingerprint of the Eli Young Band itself.

Maybe that makes them misfits, but so be it. This is who they are – some of the last true brothers of the road.

“We’ve been through everything together,” Eli says. “We’ve had this inner support system even before we had families of our own, and I think we still turn to that. Whatever the road is in front of us, our friendship will always be the priority.”

This summer, the road will take them from California to Maine, headlining shows with a set of brand new – but classic sounding – Eli Young Band tunes. And it will likely be just as much fun for them as it is for fans.

“We still look at each other as college buddies – not business partners,” says Young. “We get to share our lives with each other and we’ve done some really cool stuff, and our music has been the greatest byproduct of that.”
Ryan Beaver
Ryan Beaver
"This album is titled Rx because these songs are like medicine to me," Ryan Beaver says of his consistently compelling new release. "Making this record was so much fun, and so therapeutic. These songs serve as a prescription for getting excited about music and life. And if they're like medicine for me, maybe they will be for the listeners."

Indeed, the 12-song set, the Texas-bred, Nashville-based singer-songwriter's third longplayer, offers a potent mix of haunting emotional depth and resonant melodic craft. His insightful, infectious compositions and deeply expressive voice honor the artist's deep country roots, while transcending the genre's stylistic boundaries to incorporate a widescreen sense of drama that's anchored by his lifelong love for raw, gritty rock 'n' roll.

The resulting album, which the artist co-produced with longtime compadres Jeremy Spillman and Ryan Tyndell, makes it abundantly clear why Ryan Beaver has already been widely acclaimed as an artist to watch. Rolling Stone recently named him one of "10 New Country Artists You Need to Know," and he's received public acclaim from the likes of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Lee Ann Womack, with whom he's toured as an opening act.

The surging, anthem "Dark," Rx's opening track and emotional centerpiece, makes it clear why Beaver's work has generated so much excitement. A startlingly direct declaration of emotional perseverance, it's a powerful anthem of hope and
survival in the face of loss and disappointment. A comparable level of emotional gravity powers such memorable tracks as "Rum & Roses," "Habit," "When This World Ends" and the stirring album-closer "If I Had A Horse." The artist reveals a more humorous attitude on "Fast" and "Vegas," and pays tribute to one of his creative role models with "Kristofferson," which he prefaces with a section of Kris Kristofferson's own "Jesus Was A Capricorn."

"This is my third album, but in a lot of ways it feels like it's my first," Ryan states, adding, "I feel like I've reached the point where I know what a good song is, and I have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish."

Ryan Beaver's forthright, personally-charged songwriting reflects the lessons learned over a lifelong creative journey. Growing up in the small Texas town of Emory, he began writing songs early in life, and began performing his compositions in local venues when he was just 17.

"Music opened up another world for me," Ryan recalls. "I played in bands, on drums and guitar and piano, but I could never shake the songwriting thing. I didn't sing for awhile, because I was kind of shy as a teenager, but I always found comfort in being able to write a song. Writing songs was my way of getting the world to make sense.

"I grew up in this really small town, 70 miles east of Dallas-Fort Worth, 1500 people," he explains. "There's not a lot to do out there, so you had to be creative about how you spent your time. We had this amazing little scene pop up, where you could actually play your own songs. I was a trainwreck at first, but I worked at it and I got better."
He moved to Austin and became a part of that city's fertile music scene, and then relocated to Nashville, where he has immersed himself in Music City's songwriting community and continued to hone his skills.

"I've done hundreds and hundreds of shows, primarily in the Southwest, but eventually I realized that I needed to go do this for real and build this thing. I loved Austin, but I knew that the best singers, players and writers are in Nashville, and that the bar was way higher there. It was the best thing for me. I wrote more songs and sang more in a year in Nashville than I would have in five years anywhere else. And the more you do it, the better you get at it."

Beaver applied that pragmatic attitude to recording Rx, which he recorded on his own dime, without the benefit of record- company financing. The project was set into motion, he says, when he wrote "Dark" while mourning the deaths of his grandfather and a close friend.

"Writing 'Dark' really shook me, and really woke me up," he says. "I think I needed to hear those words more than anybody, and I realized that if I felt that way, maybe others would. I got super excited, and I thought, 'OK, I think I'm onto something here, this is a path that I want to take.'

"I'm a fan of all kinds of music, and I think that's reflected on the album," he continues. "We talked a lot about what we felt was missing from country music now and how we could bring some of that back, and at the same time, how could we push the envelope a little. That thought was always there: let's see if we can take this genre to somewhere it hasn't been before. But my main goal was to make a record that I would want to hear, with well-crafted songs that said something.

"Singing 'I ain't afraid of the dark' is as simple as it gets, and anybody can understand what it means. That's me trying to be an adult and trying to figure out how to deal with the real world. It's really simple, but getting yourself to the point where you're able to express things that simply is a challenge, and it something I aspire to. That's what Hank Williams did, and it's what Tom Petty does: express these complicated emotions in ever day language that everyone can understand. That's my goal."
Venue Information:
Minglewood Hall
1555 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN, 38104
https://www.minglewoodhall.com/