It’s been one hell of a week for A Thousand Horses. And it’s only Thursday.
Country music’s breakout band continued its stampede Wednesday, performing three times in 12 hours as Michael Hobby, Bill Satcher, Graham DeLoach and Zach Brown rocked the CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Concert and the CMT Music Awards before surprising the crowd on Lower Broadway with a sweaty Honky Tonk stomp and round of drinks.
“What a huge week. Last year at this time we played one show this week and we sat in the crowd at the CMT Awards,” DeLoach said following the band’s raucous CMT after-party at the at-capacity Tin Roof. “This year we were nominated for an award. We walked the red carpet and played on the show.”
“It’s kind of overwhelming in the best way,” Brown said. “You talk about doing this in your garage when you’re 13, and then to be here doing it is a whole different experience than you thought it would be. It’s unreal, man. That’s the only word I can think of it to describe it.”
And there’s still plenty to come as the Republic Nashville recording artists celebrate the release of debut album “Southernality,” out this week. First, it’s the CMA’s Bud Light Plaza Stage in downtown Nashville on Thursday and then Sunday at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival – 70 miles and worlds away from Nashville – before returning to the road with Darius Rucker’s Southern Style Tour.
That the band fits into all those worlds so easily explains part of its appeal. ATH mixes the three-guitar attack of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the rootsy sway of the Black Crowes and the lyrical poetry of traditional country music to create a sound that’s both instantly familiar and stylistically distinct from the rest of the genre. Fans responded immediately and first single “Smoke” set a record by debuting at No. 28 on the Mediabase country songs chart.
It reached a unanimous No. 1 last week – the first debut single from a country band of three or more members to go No. 1 since 2008 and Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried.” “Southernality” – the title is a mix of the words Southern and personality – can be purchased at iTunes and all other major retailers.
The album is expected to be among the week’s best sellers and critics have already enthusiastically endorsed the band. Entertainment Weekly said “Southernality” “roars with a swagger all its own.” Rolling Stone Country named ATH as a 2015 “Artist You Need to Know” and wrote “the LP feels lived-in, a complete entity rather than a collection of singles. While the radio-ready tracks are easy to pick out, the deeper cuts are far from filler – instead they seem destined for the set list.”
The group recently its television debut on TODAY immediately followed by two performances on FOX and Friends. The band’s next single, “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial,” is available for purchase at iTunes and will impact country radio on June 29. The heartbreak song was one of six ATH played for a packed crowd Wednesday night at The Tin Roof honky-tonk on Nashville’s famed Lower Broadway. The group bought a round of Bud Lights for the hundreds in attendance and ripped the swamp boogie of “Landslide,” the funked-up energy of “Travelin’ Man” and “Smoke” with the crowd serving as a hundreds-strong gospel choir.
“Because of you guys and how awesome you are, you made it the No. 1 song in the country,” Hobby told the crowd. “We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We love you and we want you to sing along.”
For more information about the band or to purchase tickets, visit www.AThousandHorses.com and follow @athousandhorses on Twitter and Instagram.