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16 Mar 09 Eli Young Band Rocks

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I guess it shows the breadth of the popularity of this state’s music. I was in Baton Rouge LA Friday night. I went to a venue called, appropriately, the Texas Club. And I sat, watched and listened for the first time to one of Texas’ hottest country/pop groups, the Eli Young Band.

I learned a lot. First, there is no one in the group named Eli Young – at least, not technically. There is a Mike Eli, the lead singer, and a James Young, an incredibly talented lead guitarist. The group also has drummer Chris Thompson – who successfully captured the eyes of every young female fan – and bassist Jon Jones, who played some of the best licks I have ever heard.

The Denton-based band is promoting its first successful national CD release: Jet Black & Jealous. The current hit is a good one – “Always the Love Songs.”  “When It Rains,” another popular song with the fans, is also included.  But as witnessed during their live performance, these two songs just scratch the surface of the talent level of these four young men.

In this venue – with posters of Willie, Merle, Tracy and David Allan looking down – I expected a country show. What I got was country, but very much plugged in. Many songs verge on the rock classification. And each work is absolutely full of energy. And the guys look so young, I did not expect to get such an experienced sounding result. It was quite a pleasant surprise.

The Eli Young Band is currently nominated for Best New Group or Duo by the Academy of Country Music.  Voting takes place for just a few more days. Anyone wishing to give them support can go to www.acmcountry.com and follow the links to register and vote.

The four Texas boys are very busy these days. They have two performances this weekend in the Dallas area, then head to Oklahoma and Colorado for gigs in those states. Go to www.eliyoungband.com for full show details.

During their show, Eli told the crowd, “For seven years, we traveled by van. Now we finally have our own bus. But no matter where we go, we always thank you for making us feel at home!”

After a two-hour show and encore filled with songs written by each of the members, Eli Young closed with a song that they said “will never appear on any of our records.”  Their cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together” was fantastic and appropriate. My guess is these four guys will come together to create wonderful Texas-based music for years to come.

Discography

Level
LevelReleased April 5, 2005  by Carnival
Live at the Jolly Fox
Live at the Jolly FoxReleased November 14, 2006 by CarnivalRe-released 2009 by Universal South
Jet Black & Jealous
Jet Black & JealousReleased September 16, 2008 by Universal South
Eli Young Band
Eli Young BandReleased September 16, 2008 by Universal South
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