The Eli Young Band has finished a new album that’s set to come out next year, and if the response to the group in Houston is any indication, its decade-long journey could be paying off big time.
The band just celebrated its 10th anniversary this fall after slowing developing an audience from extensive, dedicated touring, beginning in Denton, Texas, and expanding outward. Its 2008 album, Jet Black & Jealous, brought a hit with “Always The Love Songs,” but EYB’s popularity goes deeper than might normally be expected for an act that’s had only one Top 20 success.
Houston radio station KKBQ ran a contest that encouraged fans to enter online for a chance to win an acoustic concert from the band. The station got a whopping 180,000 responses over the following 24 hours, crashing the Cox Media Group’s server in Atlanta. That left staff members without Internet access or email at 86 radio stations, four newspapers and 15 TV outlets across the country.
“I’ve always known that the Eli Young Band is a big deal here in Texas, but this is ridiculous!” KKBQ’s Johnny Chiang said in a press release.
The reaction is obviously a positive sign for EYB. The four band members slugged it out through some pretty tough times on their way up, holding down multiple jobs while they were in college and reinvesting what little they made from their shows back into the group. The guys never really considered that period difficult.
“Back then it was exciting for us if we made $200 at a show to put gas in the van and sock $100 away towards our next purchase, if it was a P.A. or whatever else we would use at the time,” bass player Jon Jones says. The band’s public presence “was very small, but it was so much fun. Three out of the four of us kind of came from playing in garage bands. It wasn’t just that we were just happy to be there, but it didn’t take a whole lot for us to be content, and it still isn’t about money. But it was never really a huge question to take or pass on a show if it didn’t pay [well].”
The KKBQ server crash is proof that over the long run, the Eli Young Band’s dedication has indeed paid dividends. The group will get a chance to build even more on its foundation in the near future. The guys shoot a video this month for their next single, “Crazy Girl.” It gets released to radio stations after the first of the year.