The sometimes unknown quantity about country music is the fact that, like rock music, the genre houses multiple ‘sub-genres’ of music. In Texas and Oklahoma there is a country music genre that often is given it’s own moniker: Red Dirt music. It’s a country-rock-folk hybrid that has recently gained some inroads in Nashville with artists like Pat Green, Cross Canadian Ragweed and Randy Rogers Band getting signed to Nashville labels and having success. One big hallmark about this type of country music is that it’s often band-oriented and these bands work endlessly at crafting their music.
That tireless work ethic and independent spirit paid off for Eli Young Band as they worked their single “When It Rains” for almost a year on their own before being signed to Universal Republic/Universal Records South. The song originally appeared on the independent, Carnival Records-distributed album “Level.” With a tight, steel-infused melody, the track (re-recorded for Universal) discusses a man who was hurt to the core after losing the girl of his dreams. It tells a story of a dude who feels at home in the rain because it helps to mask the way he feels about losing her.
With hard work and, now a major label to support them, Eli Young Band are poised to become another of the Texas Music/Red Dirt scene to go on to greater country music success. The interesting thing is that they may actually be the second artists, after Pat Green, to score a Top 10 single nationally, and “When It Rains” has the potential to do it for them. It’s different from typical Nashville fare but not enough for radio to ignore it. That’s the hallmark of a band with the potential to be Nashville’s next big thing.