Thanks to American Songwriter for premiering our new song “Three Little Angels” today! Another track from Hearts on Fire, “Three Little Angels” features guest vocals from Amy Helm. Check it out below and let us know what you think!Click Here to Hear Three Little Angels
Sometimes you think that a song is finished, but in reality it’s still a long way’s off. Such is the case of Lovin…. which might be more appropriately named “Lovin 3.0”.
This song started as an acoustic riff that Jenkins had been playing for a while and we thought that it was going to have that “Beast of Burden” / Rolling Stones vibe to it. Originally the chorus to this song was the sexually charged:
“Your sweetness really turns me on,
making me the weakest man you’ve ever known”
and the outro to the song was the repeating phrase:
“I’ll make a living out of lovin you.”
We started working up some demos and we realized that this song had a lot of potential but that honestly it wasn’t really hitting any of us as hard as we had hoped.
A few months later a friend of ours suggested that we move the “Your sweetness really turns me on…” chorus part to the front as the intro and to move the “I’ll make a living out of lovin you” part from the Outro to the chorus… so we did.
Confused yet? So were we… the song just wasn’t done.
Well, the good news is that sometime last summer we were throwing some wiffle balls around the backyard when Jenkins said to me, “What if something bad happens in the story at the end of this song? Or there’s some kind of confrontation between the couple that is having this sweet romance story?”
Thus…. the turning point. We dropped our wiffle ball and plastic yellow bat and ran back inside to chase down the inspiration. Luckily, we found it… I ran into the vocal booth and we recorded the melody and most of the words that filled out the outro to Lovin. It was an absolutely fantastic afternoon.
Truthfully, completing a song is really all about capturing a moment. It’s about cutting to the bone of a situation that you’re in, and letting the honesty bleed out. If I knew how to do it on cue at any time then I would, but I think the only answer for a songwriter is to be ever open to the creative muse and the opportunity of a song.
We are very excited to share with you the first single off our upcoming album! Check out our brand new music video and be sure to grab your free download!
DOWNLOAD “MORNING LIGHT” BY CLICKING
THE TWEET BUTTON BELOW!
Our brand new album is almost here! Hearts on Fire features 11 brand new songs that we’ve been working on over the past year. We are so proud of this record and can’t wait to share it with you all! Start spreading the word!
Thank you SO MUCH for helping us with this KickStarter campaign! Because of you we have already raised 66% of our KickStarter goal! If you haven’t yet decided to give to the campaign, or if you would like to upgrade your KickStarter package then we would genuinely appreciate it. Our DESIRE is to share this new music with the entire world and we need your help to make it happen. Please, please, please spread the word!
This is a new song we’ve been working on called “Ever Start to Wonder.” It’s an acoustic arrangement, but the recorded version would be full band. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Justin, Aaron, James, Michael, Cozmo, and Kevin
The holiday season is all about giving, so we’d like to give you a free download to get you into the Christmas spirit! Above is a link to our cover of The Band’s 1977 song “Christmas Must Be Tonight”; click the download button on the bottom to download the MP3. We’ll always associate this time of year with our time spent at Levon Helm’s home in December 2009. It was such an honor to work with a musical hero of ours, and we’ll never forget Levon’s generosity and encouragement. In honor of the late Mr. Helm, we recorded this song last winter with our good friend Josh Oliver on the harmony vocals. Hope you enjoy!
It’s time for a new album. We’re partnering with you to make it happen!
We’re very excited to announce that we will be releasing a brand new album in early 2014! Additionally, we are thrilled to announce that it will be released through Summertown Records, our own label that we are starting together with YOU!
That’s right, we are working together with our fans to create our own record label! This will allow us to have 100% creative control and give you the most authentic music possible. We’ve just launched a project campaign on Kickstarter that will last through the end of the month, and we’d love for you to check it out. We’re offering creative rewards of great value for your participation. Find something you like and get on board with the launch of Summertown Records and our brand new album!
We’re an independent band completely reliant on our incredible fans. You all allow us to make music for a living and we can never thank you enough. Please help us spread the word about this campaign! #helptheguvs
I noticed all of your videos are done by Badland Pictures. What’s your relationship with them and how did it start?
Badland Pictures is a duo from Knoxville. Scott Murphy and Matt Dearman were students at the University of Tennessee when we first met them. They were looking to do some music video stuff and reached out to us. We immediately clicked with them and before we knew it, they were traveling across the country with us. Over the years, they’ve been to hundreds of shows with us, documenting things from the road and making music videos. They are now some of our best friends, and we love bouncing ideas off of each other. So far, they’ve made videos for “We’ll Be The Light” and “Baby We Were Young” off of “Youth is in Our Blood”, and “3000 Miles” and “Fairlane” off of “Southern Skies”. MTV and CMT took note of their great work on the latter two, giving those videos airplay. In addition to working with us, the guys do a whole lot more; they’re currently working on their first feature film, “Anvil Electric”, due in 2014. Big things will be coming from the badland guys and we’re honored to partner with them. Check out their website at www.badlandpictures.com.
Even though I am a UGA grad and big Bulldog fan, I appreciate the fact that you all don’t hide your allegiances to your school, UT. What are your thoughts on Butch Jones? Do other fans give you a hard time for being Vols fans? Go Dawgs!
Thanks, David. Yes, we are big Vol fans. We all went to the University of Tennessee and we are proud of it. We go to every game our schedule allows and are always keeping up with everything from the road as well. We’re not going to change allegiances from city to city, we have to stay true to our roots. We think people respect that. We’re excited about Coach Jones, he seems to be bringing back a lot of energy that’s been lacking during our recent down years. It won’t be overnight, but we think he can turn things around with time. We are also hoping for a big year with Cuonzo Martin and the basketball team. They should have the pieces in place this year for a big season. As far as taking heat for being Vols fans in other SEC towns, we don’t get it too bad. Some of our favorite places to play are places like Athens, GA, Tuscaloosa, AL, etc. We really appreciate all the fans in those places and love to hear the smack talk they have for us. We haven’t been able to say much lately, so we just have to take it.. Good luck to your Dawgs this year, except on October 5th in Knoxville!
I have all of your albums and love them! I just saw you in NC and you played two songs I didn’t know. Are these new ones? What are their names? They were AMAZING!
Hey Kelsey, those were two new songs that we’re really excited about. Right now they’re called “Morning Light” and “Lovin’” Hope to get these out on the next album!
Whatever happened to the King of the Mule game?
For those who don’t know, “King of the Mule” was a game we played a year or so back that mainly involved us having do terrible or embarrassing things in an attempt to be named the “King of the Mule” (our bus is named the Mule). When you have a lot of time to kill on the road, this is the type of stuff that happens. We would post updates to you all and we loved hearing your feedback. To answer your question, Cozmo was named King of the Mule this past December, as he was the last man standing in the game. If he wishes to defend his title, the game may come back. And if the game comes back, we’ll be sure to let you know.
My friend claims that he saw you in your early days at some bar and you all were playing different instruments than you do now. Does he know what he is talking about?
Hey Jonathan, your friend isn’t lying. Back in the early days, we used to switch around instruments a lot to have some fun. Sometimes Aaron would play guitar or Jenkins would play keys or Justin would play drums. We all just kind of traded around and messed with everything. It doesn’t happen as much anymore, as we all have honed in on our specific instruments, but occasionally we still switch it up and see what happens. Tell your friend he wins this argument.
August has been really busy and amazing so far, with shows all over the place; West Virginia, North Carolina, South Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. We started this month in Charleston, West Virginia. This concert was part of a cool nationwide Bud Light event called 50/50/1. It involved fifty shows in fifty states all on August 1st. The lineup all over the country was very eclectic, featuring artists such as Ludacris, The Flaming Lips, Dierks Bentley, and many more. We were very honored to be asked to play the West Virginia show along with Needtobreathe. We really enjoyed getting to know those guys and had a great time playing together. Hope to play some more shows with them down the road!
The next day we returned to Elkin, NC to kick off this year’s Reevestock Festival. We played the festival last year and had so much that we couldn’t wait to return this year. We really appreciated all of the fans that traveled from all over North Carolina to see the kickoff show. We had an incredible time playing for you all!
As soon as this show was over, we set off on a journey. You see, we had 36 hours to be in Sturgis, SD, which was 25 hours away. It wasn’t really convenient but we were determined to make it work. We plowed through NC , VA, back to WV, through KY, then to IN, a little IL, across MO, up through IA and NE, and arrived right on time in Sturgis. We were particularly excited about this show because we were opening for The Black Crowes. The Crowes are one of the best rock bands out there and it was a huge honor to be asked to play a show with them. It was really great to get to chat with a few of those guys before our show, and the Sturgis crowd was really fun to play for. An added bonus was getting to hang out on the stage for the Crowes show. Big thanks to those guys for having us out!
We had two days before we had to be down in Arkansas, so we decided to see the sights of beautiful South Dakota. First up we traveled down to Keystone to hit up Mount Rushmore. Incredible to see this in person!
After Rushmore, we went over to Badlands National Park. One of the prettiest places we have ever visited for sure. Pictures won’t do this justice, but here’s a few anyway:
On our way down to Arkansas, we decided to hit a baseball game in Kansas City. The Twins were in town to play the Royals, so we spent our evening eating peanuts and cracker jacks at Kauffman Stadium. Great stadium and a great night for some August baseball!
Next up was a series of shows with Corey Smith. We started with two shows in Arkansas, one in Jonesboro and another in Ft. Smith. We really appreciate the great response from the Arkansas crowd. We even had another engagement happen during our show in Ft. Smith. It’s always an honor to be included on moments like that. Congrats to Brooks and Cassi! We finished the run with shows in Kansas City & Chicago. Two great nights in two great cities!
We’re back on the road August 18th in Nashville. If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you at 3rd and Lindsley! Thanks for all of your continued support!
I’ve seen you guys six or seven times now and you never disappoint. I really like how you all mix it up from show to show to give your fans a new experience. Some of my favorite moments at a few of those shows were you guys bringing out other artists to sit in with you. How do you all decide whom to invite to play with you? Do you guys ever sit in with other artists at their shows? What have been some of your personal favorite live collaborations? – Stephen L
Thanks, Stephen! We really love getting the opportunity to play with different artists whenever we get the chance. Almost all of these collaborations are spur of the moment or talked about right before a show. They all depend on who’s around and what people’s schedules look like. Yes, we sit in with other artists from time to time. James sat in with Moon Taxi earlier this year; Cozmo has sat in with Robert Randolph in the past. Probably our favorite collaboration ever was when all six of us got to sit in with Levon Helm up in Woodstock, NY a few years back. Performing “The Weight” with one of our musical heroes is something that will be hard to top. Another great collaboration was having the guys from Zac Brown Band join us in our hometown a few years ago. The place was going crazy that night! Who knows what collaborations are ahead?
For Cozmo and Jenkins, what pedals are currently on your boards?
Cozmo: Pedal order from guitar input out to super reverb and tweed twin amps
Boss chromatic tuner–VOX wah pedal–TS9 tube screamer–TS808 tube screamer–full tone full drive pedal-H2O delay pedal–RAPCO a/b box out to two amps (both fender amps, super reverb and tweed twin)….i try to keep each drive pedal (tube screamers, full drive pedal) dialed to a different tone to cater to each scenario in the set list…sometimes, during solos on the slide v, I’ll use the H2O delay to add a little “soupy” sound for a cool effect…all pedals are chained together with monster cables…
Jenkins: Pedals into Vox AC30 and super reverb.
Guitar–Wah Pedal–Fulltone ’69 Fuzz–Fulltone RTO–TS808 Tube Screamer–Throwbak Overdrive Boost–Boss tuner–Strymon El Capistan–Strymon Flint–Rapco A/B box (main amp is the AC30, use the super reverb for lead stuff). For the bulk of my playing I use no pedals and just the amp breakup, but the pedals allow me to dial in that tone when I can’t crank my amp like I like to. The strymon pedals are out of control awesome.
How do you spend your ideal day off on the road?
We’re all sports fans and we love hitting baseball, basketball, and football games whenever possible. We’re trying to figure out what stadium we can hit next. Add a meal at a great local restaurant and you have our ideal day off!
You regularly refer to your tour bus as “The Mule”. How did you arrive at that name?
Our tour bus was purchased from Scott Miller, a friend and a great musician. When Scott started doing more solo stuff he didn’t have much need for a bus, so we snatched it up. Scott had at some point put a license plate on the front that said “MULE POWER”. When we got the bus, we saw this and started calling it, “The Mule”. The rest is history.
Note: The “MULE POWER” license plate is no longer, following an unfortunate incident with a deer in the middle of the night in rural Mississippi a couple years back.