Texas country quartet, the Eli Young Band coming to Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg
STROUDSBURG — Grammy nominated country quartet, the Eli Young Band has been making music together since its four members met at the University of North Texas 15 years ago. Since then, the band has left their mark on country music with eight charted singles, three of which, “Crazy Girl,” Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Drunk Last Night” have reached no. 1. Following a year of genre-bending collaboration and experimentation, the band is back on the road and coming to Stroudsburg.
The Eli Young Band will perform at 8 p.m. March 3, at the Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $23 the day of the show. Doors open at 7 p.m. The tour comes in anticipation of a new album, which guitar player James Young said is bringing the band back to its roots.
Last summer, the Eli Young Band and pop musician Andy Grammer released a well received collaboration in the form of a country-fried version of Grammer’s song, “Honey, I’m Good.” Hand-clapping percussion and twangy vocal harmonies infused the pop song with a Southern charm, giving it a back-porch sing-a-long vibe.
“That was so much fun,” Young said. “That song sounded to us like a country song, and it would just fit in the genre so well. We loved that song before we knew there was a chance to cut it again with Andy. So we were on board, and it really turned out so great. (Mike Eli’s) voice just sounded so great on it, and it was just a pleasure to be able to do that.”
The single came shortly after the band released a four song EP that waxed a bit more poppy than fans are used to.
“It was a snapshot of where we were at that moment of time,” Young said. “We saw that we could really throw it out there, because it had been a while since we’d released anything. It was a fun little experiment that we tried. The Eli Young Band has never shied away from experimenting with new stuff. We’ve never really had any reservations through our whole career.”
While the band doesn’t hesitate to add new sounds to their sonic repertoire, a new album, expected to be released this summer, is the band’s way of getting back to basics.
“This record was an if-it-wasn’t-broke-before-don’t-try-and-fix-it,” Young said. “We have a new producer, and he’s amazing. We have a new label we’re under as well. We’re still under the Big Machine umbrella, but we switched over to Valley Records, which is kind of indie label on that record label. That’s where we came from, the whole indie, grass roots (way). This record is more back to the classic Eli Young Band sound that we started out with in college. We had total creative freedom to go back and write songs we dig and record them and put them out on a record.”
That back-to-the-foundation sentiment is something Young has seen recently in the constantly morphing genre of country music.
“When we started, we were dubbed too rock for country and now we’re almost too country for country.” Young said. “It’s ever evolving, and that’s great.”
As the Eli Young Band has toured, they’ve been working songs from the new record into their set lists, treating fans to a taste of what’s to come.
“These new songs are fun to play on stage, and any time you throw something new into the set list it breathes new life into the show,” Young said.
While Stroudsburg is new to the band, they’ve appreciated Pennsylvania crowds, and this time around, they’re excited to be playing more intimate venues.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been to this particular area, but it’s awesome what we’re doing right now, playing small clubs and going back to playing our whole 90-minute sets. It’s nice to be able to play all your music, be able to try out some new music and be in front of those crowds.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or [email protected]
IF YOU GO:
What: the Eli Young Band
Where: Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg
When: 8 p.m. March 3. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Additional information: Tickets cost $20 in advance and $23 the day of the show. VIP and group packages are available. For more information visit shermantheater.com.