Eli Young Band: Drunk Last Night Tour
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD, 21202
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Eli Young Band
It’s a crazy-good story. The Eli Young Band—four musicians who met during their college days in Texas—is now 11 years into a career built on touring without a single lineup change. That dedication is paying off big-time as the band enjoys a crazy new
level of success. They sell a crazy amount of tickets. Get a crazy amount of airplay. And are selling a crazy amount of downloads—EYB received their first platinum record for "Crazy Girl" and have sold over 1.5million downloads of the track.
Penned by fellow artist Lee Brice and Nashville songwriter Liz Rose (“You Belong With Me”), “Crazy Girl” is a perfect introduction to Life At Best, a 14-track album that takes the band’s wide-ranging multi-genre influences and distills them into a focused,
engaging vision: edgy country with hints of heartland rock bands such as Tom Petty and classic Eagles.
Honesty is a powerful magnet that always draws an eager audience and it has proven to be a potent tool in Eric Paslay's (Pass-Lay) creative arsenal. Sometimes playful, often poignant and always poetic, the 6' 4" singer/songwriter with the fiery red hair and easy smile has quickly earned a reputation as an artist who radiates integrity. His songs have substance and depth, but his EMI Records Nashville debut album is every bit as entertaining and accessible as it is meaningful, and therein lies Paslay's charm.
From the sly, sexy romp "If the Fish Don't Bite" to the emotionally riveting "Deep As It Is Wide," Paslay proves to be a compelling storyteller and versatile performer. It's a gift he comes by honestly. "My granddad was a musician," says Paslay, a native Texan, who was born in Abilene and raised in Temple. "Granddad and his brothers had a band called Arnold Schiller and the Moonlight Serenaders. My grandfather was Arnold, and they played at dance halls. I was two and a half when he died. It's interesting how he rubbed off on me even though I didn't really know him very well. He had red hair and it's kind of funny because I like all the things he liked."
Paslay says his family never pushed him to play music, but supported his interest when he began playing guitar at 15. "I love melodies. My dad always had oldies on in his '68 Mustang, and listening to that music growing up influenced me. There are so many cool melodies and it was great ear candy."
By the time he began performing around Texas, Paslay had consumed himself with some of the great singer/songwriters and learned how to make a song memorable. "I was influenced by Rich Mullins," Paslay says. "He was one of those guys I really listened to because he was real. He was a Christian artist, but it was cool to hear someone mix their beliefs with real life. He was honest. Then there was Rodney Crowell. I love Rodney Crowell. Johnny Cash has influenced me from his storytelling. He was such a cool storyteller and you really believed him."
Though most aspiring artists playing clubs routinely perform cover tunes, Paslay almost always played his original songs and got enthusiastic response. Even though he was building a reputation for his live shows, like most artists, he briefly flirted with a more stable career and during high school, he planned on becoming a pediatric endocrinologist. "I have juvenile diabetes and I thought I could help kids with diabetes because I could relate to them," he says.
However, music was too strong a passion to be ignored and following a friend's advice, he moved to Nashville. Paslay began attending Middle Tennessee State University, where he became president of MTSU's student chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). He recruited top Music Row writers to speak at the university. He also volunteered for anything just to get his foot further in the door and did everything from help out at a charity golf tournament to change light bulbs in the NARAS office, a feat made easier because of his height. "I'd just go help anywhere I could because I thought if you have a job to do and you do it well, then if they let you be creative and make a record, at least they know you're going to do it well," Paslay says. "They'll know you are going to put all your mind, strength and skill into doing whatever job they give you."
He also landed an internship at Cal IV Entertainment. When a tape copy job opened up a month before graduation, Paslay applied only to have his supervisor tell him he was taking his name off the list of contenders. "I thought 'What?!!!' I'd done it for a semester and done a good job," recalls Paslay. "My supervisor said 'I came to Nashville wanting to write songs and I got a job and stopped writing. I don't want to be the guy who makes you stop writing songs.'"
A few months later, Paslay was offered a writer's deal at Cal IV. Even as he continued to develop his chops as an artist, he became one of Music Row's most sought after young songwriters. He co-wrote the hit title track of Jake Owen's new album "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" as well as the title track for Donny and Marie Osmond's country set "The Good Life" and cuts "Friday Night" by Lady Antebellum and "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" by the Eli Young Band.
Though appreciative of the songs that others have recorded, Paslay will be the first to admit he didn't move to Nashville to be a songwriter, but to be an artist. He has a passion for using his voice to connect with an audience, and there's a warm, earnest quality that commands attention whether he's delivering a heartbreaking ballad or an edgy confession.
Though Paslay enjoys recording and has an affinity for the studio, his true love is the stage. "I turn it on when I get on stage. I love to entertain," says Paslay, who has opened for Dierks Bentley, Clint Black, Eric Church, Blake Shelton and Little Big Town, among others. "The songs on this record are the ones that really connect when I played them live. When I write, I like there to be a little bit of hope in every song, even in the sad songs. There's still hope in there. With all the negativity everywhere these days, I'd like the positive to come out. A song can give you a little boost in confidence or make you love stronger and dream deeper."
Most of all, Eric Paslay loves forging that special connection with people that can only be made with a song. "I just love making music. I love how much you can say to someone in a song," he says. "It's great having the opportunity to be a part of the soundtrack of people's lives."
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