For musicians…band years are pretty much like dog years. This stuff ages a mind and body. For the boys in Hillbilly Vegas their ‘band years’ age is about 150. In reality as a band they’ve only been out there trying to make a name for themselves in the beer joints and on just about every flatbed from Texas to Oklahoma to somewhere deep, deep in the woods of Arkansas for almost 3 years now. It wasn’t supposed to be that way though.
Hillbilly Vegas started as a songwriting/jam project for Steve Harris and Johnny ‘Ringo’ Reed. The boys never had any intention of starting another band. They just wanted to bring their old music buddies together to have a good time. But…the truth is you can’t put a bunch of musicians in a room without them deciding to start a band. That’s what happened here too and it’s been a non-stop roller coaster ride since that first night at Johnny’s home studio.
That home studio eventually became so much more then just a place to rehearse. Every song, every idea and every experience the guys shared as a band and friends happened at Johnny’s place. Sometimes it was just good cookin’ and a good conversation that happened at Johnny’s. Sometimes some of the band’s best songs were written after one of those good meals and conversations. A song like “I Already Know” that tells the story of one of the guy’s hard breakups happened that way. Johnny’s little place way out in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma became Ringo Manor…the band’s home.
In 2009 that hard work and bonding out at Ringo Manor began to pay off pretty quickly. Within 6 months the boys had already been offered their first contract, got their first song on the radio and had already shared a stage with two country legends, Travis Tritt and Collin Raye. The band may have been new but the musicians were not. Steve and Johnny along with old friends, Texas guitarist Mitch Spencer and drummer Troy Hollinger were veterans. So it was no surprise when these ‘old vets’ were already making waves after just a few months. Still, it was a bit of a shock that it was happening now instead of when they were all, well…younger and dumber.
“You know that movie ‘The Rookie?’ Harris recently told The Daily Oklahoman. “I feel just like that guy in the movie…this is supposed to be a kid’s game and yet here we are after all these years of kicking around, starting, stopping and finally giving up and not giving a damn anymore. We might have actually found it…whatever ‘it’ is.”
‘It’ was a management deal with Nashville veteran Ben Ewing signed in the summer of 2010. Followed by a recording contract with Red Dirt/E1 in October of 2010 and jumping right in to a studio just a few weeks later to record what would end up being their first release the appropriately titled ‘Ringo Manor.’
Ben put the guys together with Nashville producer Richie Owens (Georgia Satellites, Dolly Parton, Kentucky Headhunters, Jason and the Scorchers etc) and ‘Ringo Manor’ began to take shape. Richie used his varied background, encyclopedia like musical knowledge and great ear to corral what the band did best. Not only was the band thrilled with the finished product, they were also grateful to Richie for the great experience during the entire process.
‘Ringo Manor’ turned out to be a little more diverse then the usual country album, but don’t look for any apologies from the band. The songs are who they are. Each song chronicles the experiences and influences of the guys who wrote them. “Nobody wants to eat the same meal every day and nobody wants to listen to the same song 11 times on an album…so we offer an emotional tour of us and where we come from” Harris said. “We love everything about music except labels. We’re just a bunch of regular guys having a great time and playing the kind of music we love.” From the rowdy southern rock tribute to weak Oklahoma beer ‘Oklahoma 3.2,’ to the instant classic father/daughter ballad ‘Little Miss Rough and Tumble” Hillbilly Vegas has created something they’re very proud of and excited to share with friends and fans worldwide.
All it takes is once and you’ll know what everyone else who already knows is talking about…Hillbilly Vegas is a band you have to experience.
|No Tour Dates Available