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A Thousand Horses at The Windy City Smokeout

I had recently had a fortunate opportunity to sit down with the next huge band in country music. A Thousand Horses is the antidote for all of the "sounds the same" pop country out there that is turning a lot of people away from the genre.  Imagine if the original Lynyrd Skynyrd were to come back to life and hop on stage in 2015, I feel it would resemble A Thousand Horses.  

Here is some of my interview from the Windy City Smokeout on July 10, 2015.  

Kelly: Okay they just had a kickass performance and now I get a chance to chat with them and I have a few questions for you guys, of course. Now I know a couple of you originally met in South Carolina correct?

Hobby: Yeah 

Kelly: And some are from Georgia, could you guys tell me how like the whole dynamic started and how you guys originally formed

Hobby: Yeah Bill and I grew up together in South Carolina, Graham is his cousin 

(Kelly: OK!) so I've known Graham as long as I've known Bill (Kelly: Family!) so family connection here. And when we formed the band in 2010 is where we met Zach.

Kelly: So that's when you joined

Zach: Yeah they moved to Nashville right out of high school actually all three of these guys, and they met me just wandering the streets of Atlanta.

Hobby: Yeah just asking for change, said his name was Zach Brown...

Zach: (Jokingly) Can I be in your band guys?

Hobby: Yep and he just hasn't left yet, we never even told him yes!

Kelly: So he's just still hanging around! So you guys are on one of my favorite labels of course. you signed to Big Machine Republic Nashville. and it is such a prestigious and well respected label, I mean what was it like when you got the call and they were like "hey we're going to sign you guys!"

Zach: That was beyond our wildest dreams, it was crazy, we initially set out to make the album ourselves. We scrounged together a few thousand bucks and we figure we could sell maybe 2,000 copies of this thing, we can pay for it. Then we can do that over the course of the year, So we brought it over to Republic...

Kelly: Ok so your first single Smoke went number one. that has to be such an incredible feeling, but when you guys found out it, were you like "holy shit our first single just went #1?!" tell me about it...

Hobby: I mean that is every artist's and songwriter' dream is to have a number 1. We've been dreaming about this since we started this band and every band we've been in. It was pretty incredible when we got the call, I'll never forget we were in Boston. we were playing with a bunch of buddies of ours and we got the call that it was going number one, so we all just threw a big party and celebrated. We are still pinching ourselves like holy crap we did it! we got a number one

Kelly: So surreal 

Hobby: its very surreal, its been awesome, we're pretty grateful for it, its been a long road and for what we are doing its been awesome.

Kelly: So your sound your style is so cool so unique, I mean I love the overall vibe, I want to talk about how you see yourselves as being different for other artists of country music. How would you describe your style and your sound and why do you stand out?

Zach: I think its hard to say, we've always tried to be true to ourselves and just be real and make the music that we like. you know do our thing. its hard to say exactly what makes us different. We are hoping that people come to our show and see something there. that's A Thousand Horses right there.

Kelly: It such a unique sound and it is different from anything else going on in Nashville right now. It's why a lot of people are drawn to it, its why I'm drawn to it. So you obviously have something very special going on but its nice to hear how the artist thinks his work sets him apart.

Graham: Yeah I mean we lean a little bit more to the rock side but we love the country part of it.

Hobby: We kind of do what we do. we are on the road all the time so that we can draw from music. from rock to country, RNB to Hip-hop to soul. we were raised around that stuff. so everything that we do musically I getting subconsciously more inspiration. But its just..

Kelly: Its A Thousand Horses. that's it end of story. 

Band: Yeah!

Upcoming Summer Concerts

Lots to talk about folks!!!  I did a segment on WCIU You and Me This Morning today and I chatted about some summer concerts and music festivals that are coming up in the near future (See full segment here)... but in this blog, I'm also going to include several other that I wasn't able to mention on air.  Who's ready to rock?!?!

Ravinia Festival-  June 26th and 27th Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.  This normally isn't up my alley but this is such a great pairing of old school and new school talent.  Tix are still available on Stubhub and other ticket sites.   Also, coming up this summer:  ETR Picks of course

The Doobie Brothers June 30

Blondie and Melissa Etheridge July 2

Rob Thomas July 18

Bluegill Music Festival-  July 4th.  Rend Lake Dam in Benton, IL -  If you don't have plans yet for 4th of July... NOW YOU DO!!  Come to Bluegill Fest and see me and 20 amazing country artists get down and dirty at the dam.  I'm the official Bluegill correspondent and I'll be mingling on the 4th with the headliner, Eli Young Band, as well as other amazing artists like Lo Cash, and my good friends, Clayton Anderson and Stella James Band.  General Admission tix are only $30 and VIP are $60.  Yee Haw!!!

The Beach Boys with Kool and the Gang- Montrose Beach June 26th-  This is huge folks... you get to see the Beach Boys ON the Beach!!!  I saw them in 1995 in Las Vegas and I was BLOWN away.  They are some of the major pioneers of pop-rock and i've always loved them.  They're still killin' it!  If you haven't seen them yet, now is your chance.  

The Windy City SmokeOut- River North at Grand Ave-  July 10-12.  My FAVORITE event of the year.  The 3rd annual Smokeout and I'm an ambassador this year!  Woo!  Some of my favorite artists and friends will be playing this year such as Lee Brice, Chris Young, Kacey Musgraves, A Thousand Horses, and Sundy Best.  PLUS some of the greatest pit masters in the country will be showing off their BBQ skills alongside host, Bub City.  

And NO, I'm not forgetting about Lollapalooza or Riot Fest... those will get their own very special dedicated posts as the dates draw nearer.... (as Metallicaaaaaaa is whispered in the background)


Eat Travel Rock TV is HERE!

First off, I want to start by saying how appreciative I am of all the support I've received from all my friends, family, and "supporters" since Chantel (my manager/producer) and I began this crazy project.  No one even knew what the hell Eat Travel Rock TV was, yet you all were on board.  Well now it's here and it's LIVE on my site... Just click HERE for all the available episodes... yet you still may not know what the hell it is.

Eat Travel Rock TV came about from the frustration I had while working on other TV projects, coupled with my desire to put my specific brand on camera.  I've had a vision of a show that fully integrates food, music, and travel in a unique and unexpected way.  There is nothing like it on television, nor the internet (as far as I've seen... those interwebs are a mighty huge place).  Plus I get to be ME!  There are no network constrictions, nor producers/directors who don't share my vision and let me do what I want to do and act how I want to act.  

Here are some examples of who you will meet along this journey:  I interviewed Chase Rice at the Windy City Smokeout (music and food, baby!) I interviewed Love and Theft in Key West, FL (music and travel!) I had Ryan Chiaverini give me a guitar lesson in his home (unexpected music!) and I brought Down With Webster to Fulton Market Kitchen.  We have launched 5 episodes today, and we will be releasing 1 episode each Wednesday.

No two episodes are alike, and I have MANY ideas for the future.  Stay tuned for many bands, musicians, famous chefs, innovative restauranteurs, Chicago athletes, notable personalities etc.  I plan to Eat a ton, Travel a bunch, and constantly rock out... so please join me on this journey.  I truly hope you enjoy this labor of love and I welcome your thoughts, feedback, and requests.  Thank you!!

Let's Get Smokey

Hey Y'all.  This weekend marks the 3 day period where Chicago bows down to 2 of the mightiest forces in the universe.  BBQ and Country Music.  This may be controversial as, I've come to find out, not EVERYONE is a country music fan.  Well shame on you! You have a chance to make it right!  The Windy City SmokeOut starts today and not only will some of the best BBQ from around the COUNTRY be featured, but,... there will also be some of the biggest names in Country Music...right here in our own back River North!  Bub City puts it on, and we already know how great their food is.  Smoque, Chicago's Q, and Lillie's Q from Chi-Town are also repping as well as Salt Lick BBQ, Myron Mixon, and Dinosaur BBQ from around the ole US of A.  But of course, the twang will be flowin' and some of my favorite acts (and friends) will take the stage at Grand and the River.  Including Clayton Anderson, Brett Eldredge, Chase Rice (who I'll be interviewing for Eat Travel Rock TV on Sunday) Eli Young Band, etc.  Tix are still available.  Come on people, get your shit kickers on!