Courtesy - IndieOnline.com
Lonestar will perform 8 p.m. Sunday at the Stark County Fair.
WHEN: Sunday, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Grandstand, Stark County Fair.
TICKETS: $15 for reserved seats on the track and in the grands...
While “Amazed” was a crossover smash for Lonestar in 1999, hitting the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s country and Hot 100 charts, the band is hardly a one-hit wonder.Lonestar, which will appear in concert Sunday night at the Stark County Fair, topped the country charts eight more times — with “I’m Already There,” “No News,” “My Front Porch Looking In,” “Mr. Mom,” “Tell Her,” “What About Now,” “Smile” and “Come Cryin’ to Me” — and scored more radio hits with “Tequila Talkin’,” “Everything Changed,” “Let’s Be Us Again” and “Walking in Memphis.”These days, 23 years after Lonestar formed in Nashville, the band remains a popular live act, playing up to 80 concerts a year. And while the string of hit country singles has ceased, the band continues to release albums, the most recent one being “Life As We Know It” (2013). Guitarist Michael Britt phoned Monday from Nashville to talk about his life with Lonestar.
Q. Is it a challenge to be touring a lot and keep things going on the home front?
A. “Typically, our weekends are when we work. For the most part we’re home through the week having normal lives. We’re at home as much as most people, maybe more than some.”
Q. What do you guys do for fun when you’re out on the road?
A. “We had two back-to-back, two-week runs out west recently. We went to Moab, Utah, rented Jeeps and drove through the trails. That was really cool. We’ve got a cornhole board. We have grills on the bus to cook out and make it like a camping trip.”
Q. Is your career in a comfortable place these days?
A. “It’s really is. We’re kind of off the rat wheel. We’re not on a major label, not on the typical album cycle, we make music as we want to. We wish we had more airplay, but we have great fans, we’re still working, we still enjoy playing and making new music.”
Q. Are you working on songs for the next Lonestar album?
A. We’re actually finishing up a new project. We have two more songs to cut, then we’re hoping to have a new album out by the end of the year.”
Q. For people who have never seen Lonestar, what can you tell me about the concert you’ll be playing in Canton this weekend?
A. “The response we get from people who’ve not seen up before is they couldn’t believe how many songs they recognized. Most know ‘Amazed’ and ‘I’m Already There,’ but we have a lot of songs people know that they might not know were by Lonestar.”
Q. You four guys have spent so much time together. Do you play certain roles in the band?
A. “We’ve been together almost 24 years, and it’s almost like a brotherhood thing at this point. We do have different roles. Dean is definitely the business part of the band, me and Keith are the music dudes and Richie spends the most time songwriting. But we’re all funny, we have good senses of humor. There are definitely times when we’re cracking each other up. Our goal is to outdo each other.”
Q. Do you guys play a wide range of venues?
A. “We do everything from small casinos in the middle of nowhere to a festival in Michigan with 40,000 people, lots of state and county fairs. I like the variety. Every show is a little bit different. We’ve played big venues with tons of people where the shows were just okay, and small venues with really excited fans. We feed off the fans’ energy.”
Q. Tell me about the changes you’ve seen in Nashville over a quarter century.
A. “The city itself is great, but the music part of Nashville has changed drastically. Just like with the economy, big businesses swallow up small ones. It doesn’t feel as homey on Music Row as it used to. Things used to be a little more democratic, with lots of songwriters and lots of studios all real busy. It’s conglomerated into bigger chunks and fewer people.”
Q. I’m sure Lonestar has worked with many country artists over the years. Have any especially stood out for their help or advice?
A. We’ve been fortunate to be out on tours with people like Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and Alabama. All those guys were so good to us when we were first starting out and coming up. We learned from them how to treat other people. Alabama especially have always been normal people putting out great music, entertaining people and interacting with the fans. That’s what we’re all about in this band Our main hope is that everybody leaves happy.”