They’re not college kids any longer, but these four boys from Texas surely have grown into a band of brothers.
Touring in support of their newly released single “Saltwater Gospel,” the Eli Young Band will deliver its message on Sunday, Aug. 14, at TJ’s Corral, Carson Valley Inn’s outdoor venue in Minden, Nevada. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are available starting at $49.
The country quartet started playing together in 2000 while attending North Texas State University. The band is Mike Eli (lead vocals), James Young (guitar), Jon Jones (bass) and Chris Thompson (drums). The four have come a long way in 16 years, from performing in tiny Texan honky tonks to opening for the likes of Kenny Chesney on stadium tours.
“We’ve passed the friend mark now and it’s like brothers,” Jones said after the band released its “10,000 Towns” album in 2014. It’s really like a blood bond between the four of us. We set out to do this as a career and made the commitment to each other a long time ago… None of us can imagine doing anything else.”
Last month, the Eli Young Band entertained troops at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. After returning home and taking some time off to be with family, the musicians recently hit the road once again.
The band has three No. 1 hits under its belt, earning an Academy of Country Music Award in 2011 for its song “Crazy Girl.” The follow up single “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” garnered a Grammy nomination and “Drunk Last Night” also topped the country charts.
This summer, the Eli Young Band found religion, releasing “Saltwater Gospel” June as a single from its upcoming album. The song is more spiritual than religious, actually, focusing on feeling God’s powers on an ocean beach rather than in a church pew.
“Now there ain’t nothing wrong with puttin’ on your Sunday best/ Me, I won’t wear nothin’ that I can’t get wet/ I just think about how small I am and life after we’re gone/ I’m out here by myself/ But I know I’m not alone/ … I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel/ I’m as close to God as I can get… ”
One fan’s reaction: “It’s better to be on the beach thinking about God than it is to be in church thinking about the beach.” Mike Eli told Rolling Stone Country that bandmates knew “Saltwalter Gospel” was special when they first heard a demo tape from their record label.
“The beauty in this world, in places like the beach where you can stand, look out and know there’s something bigger out there and you’re so small in such a vast place — if that’s not spiritual enough to you, then we probably don’t agree on a lot of things,” he said in the Rolling Stone interview.
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