Eli Young Band

Eli Young Band

Eric Paslay

Thu, December 5, 2013

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

Terminal 5

New York, NY

$25 advance / $30 day of show

This event is all ages

Eli Young Band
Eli Young Band
Somewhere in the midst of 10,000 towns, along a lonely highway between packing clubs in their native Texas years ago and more recently performing stadiums on one of country music’s hottest tours, the Eli Young Band became more than a band. They became a brotherhood. Camaraderie and creativity fused into an intoxicating cocktail that has propelled the talented foursome to the vanguard of contemporary country music.

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 were genuinely excited about making this new record,” says bassist Jon Jones. “People talk about the sophomore record being really tough to make and in a lot of ways this felt like our sophomore record even though it’s technically our fifth record as a band.”

“We learned over the progression of those records our strong points in the studio, and we were confident,” adds drummer Chris Thompson, “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. They began performing together in 2000 while attending North Texas State University, and honed their skills on the Lone Star state’s competitive music circuit by building a rabid fan base who appreciated their potent live shows and the edgy, passionate indie albums that preceded their major label ascension.

With the 2011 release of their Republic Nashville debut, Life at Best, the Eli Young Band scored their first No. 1 hit with “Crazy Girl.” The double platinum single became the # 1 most played country song of the year on Billboard’s 2011 year end chart and earned them the ACM Award for Song of the Year. The band’s next single, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” became their second No. 1 and was certified platinum. It earned the band Grammy nods for Best Duo/Group Performance and for Best Country Song as well as Single of the Year and Song of the Year nominations from both the CMA and ACM.

After years of paying dues and gaining experience, the Eli Young Band is at the top of their game. While they started playing in tiny clubs, they’ve graduated to packing out theatres and mid-size venues as a headliner. Their road dog reputation helped them to earn an opening slot playing stadiums on the Kenny Chesney tour. All those miles on the road and visits to 10,000 towns coalesce to make their new album the band’s strongest effort yet. “At this point in our personal lives and in our career, we’re all in really good places,” Thompson says. “We’re all happy in our personal lives, so it shows on this record; it’s fun.”

“This record 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.”

Their meticulous approach to writing and finding the very best songs for the new album paid off quickly as the lead single, “Drunk Last Night,” became the band’s third No. 1 hit. “We loved that song from the first 30 seconds of hearing it,” Eli says of the Josh Osborne/Laura Veltz penned song. “With that title, you read it and you think it’s going to be a certain type of song and then you hear the song and it’s not what you thought it would be at all. The songwriters, Josh and Laura, did a really good job of messing with our brains. People were drawn to the idea that it’s not the same ole same ole drinking song. That was intriguing. They did well, hitting you with two hooky choruses, that’s a tricky thing to write. That’s what drew me as a singer to the song.”

In recording 10,000 Towns, the Eli Young Band gathered songs from Music Row’s top writers, including Craig Wiseman, David Lee Murphy, Jon Randall and Will Hoge, and the band also penned half the songs on the album themselves. “It gets challenging when you’re touring so much to sit down and actually try to write, but we spent a lot of time in 2013 just trying to write however we could,” says Young.

“It was fun for us because the four of us all sat down and wrote for this record which was a great experience,” says Eli. “All four of us are on ‘Prayer For The Road,’ ‘Traces’ and ‘Revelations.’ John and James were co-writers on ‘Dust’ while I was co-writer on ‘Angel Like You.’ ‘What Does’ was John, James and I and ‘Last Broken Heart’ was the same. We’ve never had a song on a record where all four of us were songwriters until this album.”

The second single, “Dust,” was the #1 most added song on the chart the first week with a massive 62 stations on board. The song is a rock-tinged number about a girl leaving small town life behind and taking charge of her future. “I feel like I’ve read so much recently about the girls being seen as weak in country music in the way that they are portrayed,” says Jones. “I really love this song because I call it ‘a big girl power song.’ All four of us are married to very strong women who allow us to go out and do what we do and we couldn’t do it without them.”

On 10,000 Towns, the Eli Young Band delivers a diverse collection of songs that explores the complexities of relationships such as the bluesy cheating song “Revelations” and the heartbreaking “What Does,” a poignant examination of a failed relationship. Yet there are several tunes that just revel in the simple pleasures that bring joy to the journey, among them “Just Add Moonlight” and “Let’s Do Something Tonight.” “A Prayer for the Road” is a tender tribute to the love of their families and the prayerful support that goes with them every mile.

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.”
Eric Paslay
Eric Paslay
Honesty is a powerful magnet that always draws an eager audience and it has proven to be a potent tool in Eric Paslay's (Pass-Lay) creative arsenal. Sometimes playful, often poignant and always poetic, the 6' 4" singer/songwriter with the fiery red hair and easy smile has quickly earned a reputation as an artist who radiates integrity. His songs have substance and depth, but his EMI Records Nashville debut album is every bit as entertaining and accessible as it is meaningful, and therein lies Paslay's charm.
From the sly, sexy romp "If the Fish Don't Bite" to the emotionally riveting "Deep As It Is Wide," Paslay proves to be a compelling storyteller and versatile performer. It's a gift he comes by honestly. "My granddad was a musician," says Paslay, a native Texan, who was born in Abilene and raised in Temple. "Granddad and his brothers had a band called Arnold Schiller and the Moonlight Serenaders. My grandfather was Arnold, and they played at dance halls. I was two and a half when he died. It's interesting how he rubbed off on me even though I didn't really know him very well. He had red hair and it's kind of funny because I like all the things he liked."
Paslay says his family never pushed him to play music, but supported his interest when he began playing guitar at 15. "I love melodies. My dad always had oldies on in his '68 Mustang, and listening to that music growing up influenced me. There are so many cool melodies and it was great ear candy."
By the time he began performing around Texas, Paslay had consumed himself with some of the great singer/songwriters and learned how to make a song memorable. "I was influenced by Rich Mullins," Paslay says. "He was one of those guys I really listened to because he was real. He was a Christian artist, but it was cool to hear someone mix their beliefs with real life. He was honest. Then there was Rodney Crowell. I love Rodney Crowell. Johnny Cash has influenced me from his storytelling. He was such a cool storyteller and you really believed him."
Though most aspiring artists playing clubs routinely perform cover tunes, Paslay almost always played his original songs and got enthusiastic response. Even though he was building a reputation for his live shows, like most artists, he briefly flirted with a more stable career and during high school, he planned on becoming a pediatric endocrinologist. "I have juvenile diabetes and I thought I could help kids with diabetes because I could relate to them," he says.
However, music was too strong a passion to be ignored and following a friend's advice, he moved to Nashville. Paslay began attending Middle Tennessee State University, where he became president of MTSU's student chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). He recruited top Music Row writers to speak at the university. He also volunteered for anything just to get his foot further in the door and did everything from help out at a charity golf tournament to change light bulbs in the NARAS office, a feat made easier because of his height. "I'd just go help anywhere I could because I thought if you have a job to do and you do it well, then if they let you be creative and make a record, at least they know you're going to do it well," Paslay says. "They'll know you are going to put all your mind, strength and skill into doing whatever job they give you."
He also landed an internship at Cal IV Entertainment. When a tape copy job opened up a month before graduation, Paslay applied only to have his supervisor tell him he was taking his name off the list of contenders. "I thought 'What?!!!' I'd done it for a semester and done a good job," recalls Paslay. "My supervisor said 'I came to Nashville wanting to write songs and I got a job and stopped writing. I don't want to be the guy who makes you stop writing songs.'"
A few months later, Paslay was offered a writer's deal at Cal IV. Even as he continued to develop his chops as an artist, he became one of Music Row's most sought after young songwriters. He co-wrote the hit title track of Jake Owen's new album "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" as well as the title track for Donny and Marie Osmond's country set "The Good Life" and cuts "Friday Night" by Lady Antebellum and "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" by the Eli Young Band.
Though appreciative of the songs that others have recorded, Paslay will be the first to admit he didn't move to Nashville to be a songwriter, but to be an artist. He has a passion for using his voice to connect with an audience, and there's a warm, earnest quality that commands attention whether he's delivering a heartbreaking ballad or an edgy confession.
Though Paslay enjoys recording and has an affinity for the studio, his true love is the stage. "I turn it on when I get on stage. I love to entertain," says Paslay, who has opened for Dierks Bentley, Clint Black, Eric Church, Blake Shelton and Little Big Town, among others. "The songs on this record are the ones that really connect when I played them live. When I write, I like there to be a little bit of hope in every song, even in the sad songs. There's still hope in there. With all the negativity everywhere these days, I'd like the positive to come out. A song can give you a little boost in confidence or make you love stronger and dream deeper."
Most of all, Eric Paslay loves forging that special connection with people that can only be made with a song. "I just love making music. I love how much you can say to someone in a song," he says. "It's great having the opportunity to be a part of the soundtrack of people's lives."
Venue Information:
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY, 10019
http://www.terminal5nyc.com/