By Katie Andress
Grammy-nominated artists, the Eli Young Band will take The Varsity by storm on Friday, Oct. 2. The band has just finished up a tour with Toby Keith and is set to headline a solo tour throughout the U.S. this winter. Their first two No. 1 hits “Crazy Girl” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” from their debut album “Life at Best” put this band on the map and earned the foursome recognition from not only the Grammys, but from both the Country Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards as well. “Crazy Girl” went double platinum in 2011 and earned the Eli Young Band an ACM Award for Song of the Year. This helped to create an even stronger country fan base for the group, which followed them into their latest album, “10,000 Towns.”
“10,000 Towns” produced their third consecutive No. 1 hit, “Drunk Last Night” and is the band’s expression of what it’s like being on the road.
“There’s a general theme between small town America where every town is different, but in some ways, they are the same,” said James Young, guitarist. “We felt like the title encapsulated the best years of us driving all over the country playing music.”
The Eli Young Band is taking a slightly different approach to their country sound with its next album, “Turn It On,” which is set to be released this spring. It features a blend of Texas country with contemporary pop music. This new flavor of music can be heard on songs like, “Drink You Up” and “Turn It On,” the album’s title track. These songs, as well as “Plastic” and “Your Place Or Mine” are the band’s full-length EP, “Turn It On,” which is available now on iTunes or through the band’s website eliyoungband.com/music. Mike Eli, lead singer of the Eli Young Band, commented that “Drink You Up” was one of his favorites from the upcoming album.
“I really love all of the songs, but ‘Drink You Up’ is outside of the box for us,” said Eli. “It kind of sounds like the older drive away stuff that was on one of our independent records a long time ago; it’s a lot of fun to play.”
This new sound is also featured in the remix of Andy Grammer’s hit single, “Honey, I’m Good.” “This song’s kind of a no brainer. I mean, ‘Honey, I’m Good’ is just a great tune and we were honored to be a part of it,” said Eli, when asked how the collaboration came to be. “The song is a really cool song. We play it at our shows, and it’s huge.”
This year’s winter tour, presented by Live Nation, is comprised of some of the Eli Young Band’s favorite smaller venues across the country and is set to begin in early October.
“The winter time is a perfect chance for us to get back to those smaller venues that we love and kind of recharge our batteries,” said Eli.
The live show is expected to be a huge hit with many of the old favorites fans have come to know and love.
“We continually put on a new show and let it continually evolve,” said Eli. “We will be playing some new older songs that we haven’t played in a long time, as well as ‘Honey, I’m Good’, and then some of the new stuff sprinkled in.”
Special guests on this tour include Brandon Lay, Cam, Blackjack Billy and Lowcash.
The Eli Young Band is set to play at The Varsity Theatre on Friday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m.; doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Varsity or on the Varsity’s website varsitytheatre.com. For more information, please visit the band’s website at eliyoungband.com or their social media sites at facebook.com/eliyoungband or Twitter @EliYoungBand.