What a year 2015 was for The Whiskey Riders! When we started back in 2013 we never thought that we would be here, playing pseudo-bluegrass-southern rock… But here we are! 2014 saw us put down the heavy guitars, and pick up banjos and acoustics, and 2015 saw us begin to reach our potential for our new sound. I would venture to say we were basically a new band, starting over from almost scratch.
Although 2015 was very light on live performances from us, we had a couple nice performances! One that sticks out was traveling to Austin, TX to be a part of the South by Southwest festival. We didn’t play on an “Official”SXSW show, but we were right in the fray, and our set was broadcast live to the world, with some really good reviews. We also played a couple of street performances, and had a blast doing it.
2015 also saw the departure of long time bassist Chris Armstrong and arrival of our good friend and great musician Matt Stottmann. Chris’s time with the band will always be remembered, but in the end sometimes things just don’t work out. Stotty picked up right where Chris left off and we’re really excited for you to hear him slappa da bass!
But the real accomplishment of 2015 was signing with Eastwood Records. A new label out of Louisville, Eastwood was looking to sign some new projects, and we jumped on the chance to get in on the ground floor of this exciting opportunity. Eastwood has been great to us thus far, and we’re going to carry this relationship as far as we can all take it, which leads us to 2016.
This year is the year for The Whiskey Riders. We have worked tirelessly to make this new sound unique and just plain damn good, and are pumped for everyone to hear the evolution of TWR. We go into the studio in February to start recording on our Eastwood Records debut album “1865”, with an eye on a May 8th, 2016 release date. We’re re-recording some old but great songs such as “Find our Way”, “Storm in the Hollar”, “Two of a Kind”, and “Castle”, and bringing some new great tunes such as “Shine On”, “River Made of Stone”, “New World”, and of course “1865”.
After the release of the record it’s going to be time to hit the road. We’ll be announcing our spring/summer dates over the next few months, and we’re going to do our best to get out to the west coast to show how us southern boys can do it!
You have to have confidence in yourself in this business, and at 34 years old, I, Johnny Blaze, am more confident that I’ve ever been in my musical career. I truly believe that this music is the best music I’ve ever been a part of in 16 years of playing in bands, and I want the world to see, hear, and experience all our hard work, blood sweat and tears.
Look out 2016! Here we come!