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Entertainment News

Sunday, 19 April, 2009 8:48 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Eli Young Band

Photo by Kristin Barlowe

The Eli Young Band

 

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2009 CMA Close Up News Service

Four guys meet at their school - in this case, the University of North Texas in Denton. They hit it off and decide to form a band. They hustle local shows, tote their own gear and try to find time between their classes and part-time jobs to work out original material.

This tale usually ends shortly after it begins, with everyone scattering in different directions. Not so with lead singer Mike Eli, bassist Jon Jones, drummer Chris Thompson and guitarist James Young - The Eli Young Band. They tightened and toughened their sound through long hauls on the road and late sets in countless clubs along the way. Momentum built through a couple of indie releases, opening slots and eventually their signing to Universal Republic/Universal Records South.

Jet Black & Jealous, produced by Mike Wrucke and Frank Liddell, emerges from this intersection of talent and hard knocks. Band members wrote eight of its 12 tracks, including the first single, "When It Rains," composed by Young. Set at a groove-friendly medium tempo, elevated on the choruses by a minor-to-major shift, it supports lyrics that reflect the weathered optimism that comes from taking on life's challenges while keeping the faith with your friends at your side

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

SONG YOU WISH YOU'D WRITTEN
"'Faithfully' by Journey or 'Don't Close Your Eyes' by Keith Whitley."

MOMENT YOU'D LIKE TO RELIVE
"We would like to go back to our first show and be a fly on the wall. It would be so great to revisit the first time we shared a stage together."

FIRST GIG
"The RBAR, a little college bar in Denton, Texas. We played mostly covers and probably not very well. Our bar tab was definitely more than we made at the door."

SHORT- AND LONG-TERM CHALLENGES
"We never want to write the same song twice. That is our short-term and long-term goal."

MUSICAL INFLUENCES
"Rodney Crowell, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon."

(ANSWERS PROVIDED COLLECTIVELY BY THE ELI YOUNG BAND)

On the Web: www.eliyoungband.com

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AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY