Join us at General Duffy's Waterhole, Friday, July 14, 2023, 4:00pm to 10:00pm, for live music featuring Lonestar. Doors open at 4:00pm, opening act begins at 6:00pm and headlining act starts at 8:30pm. All ages welcome! Everyone needs a ticket.
Not every musician has the opportunity to revisit and even potentially improve upon their biggest hits. But on the forthcoming TEN to 1 record, the award-winning band Lonestar— Dean Sams (keyboards, acoustic guitar, background vocals), Michael Britt (lead guitarist, background vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums) and Drew Womack (lead vocals, guitar)—are taking a fresh look at all 10 of their chart-topping country songs.
This streak started in 1996 with the band's second single, the rock-edged "No News," which describes a man left bereft (and confused) when his girlfriend suddenly disappears, and the following year's tender "Come Cryin' to Me" and “Everything’s Changed.” The band's quadruple-platinum 1999 album Lonely Grill spawned four No. 1 hits (including the beloved global smash "Amazed") and established Lonestar as music's preeminent pop-country band—a status they'd maintain through the 2000s and beyond, thanks to songs full of energy and creative lyrics ("What About Now") and ("Mr. Mom"), along with heartfelt messages and soaring melodies (“I’m Already There”).
With these re-recordings, the band members were mindful of striking a balance between preserving the sonic elements fans were familiar with—and not repeating them. "It was a high wire act trying to figure out how to change it a little bit and not throw people off too much," Britt says. "I've seen bands that when they do the big hits that I know, and they change it up too much, I feel disappointed.
I think people want to sing along—the vocal melody is what people really are latching onto the majority of time.
"That's what was in everybody's minds when we were trying to come up with different arrangements, was trying to keep the vocal melody true," he continues. "Don't change it so much that people go, 'That's not even the same song.'"
As a result, many of Lonestar's re-recordings have merely cosmetic updates and changes. "Mr. Mom" is "a little bit more country-sounding," Britt says, while Sams created some loops for "Smile" to "make it more modern-feeling, and have a little more motion," he says. "It's a little bigger-sounding than what the original record is. We kept most of the songs pretty close to the originals, but with just more updated, modern sounds."
The changes to "Amazed," meanwhile, reflect the power ballad's status as an exclamation mark during concerts. "Since it's usually the biggest part or finale of the show, we've made it a little bit more bombastic," Britt says. "We didn't want to change it so much as just to make it more epic."
TEN to 1 reflects the ways Lonestar's hits have evolved over the years during the band's rousing, high-energy concerts. For example, Britt improvised a guitar solo in the studio for the new version of "Tell Her," just as he's done live in the last few years.
"We've all played these songs live so much that we've morphed them over the years and play them a little bit differently," Sams says. "In re-recording them, it was taking all the different things that we have done and harnessing it into the best direction for today.