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Eli Young Band
By: Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist

A few years ago, when CMT and GAC got a hold of the band’s video single “When It Rains,” fans became interested and began flocking to the band’s shows each night. Therefore, before they even signed a deal with a major record label, Eli Young Band had a song that spent more than thirty weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart. They had released a record with Carnival Records after opening for Miranda Lambert. She asked the band to open for her, with the idea already in mind of having Frank Liddell come to the show early to catch their performance. He loved them, created Carnival Records, and the rest is history.

Eli Young Band released Jet Black & Jealous, an astounding debut album with Universal South/Republic Records, toward the end of 2008. The album was produced by Mike Wrucke and Frank Liddell; eight of the twelve tracks were penned by songwriters Mike Eli and James Young, the band’s vocalist and guitarist.

Eli and Young began as a duo in Texas before the four band members came together, debuting in October of 2000, to create the distinct sound they have today.

The four members of the Eli Young Band, created a theme for their music. “It might be raining today, but it might be sunny tomorrow, so it’s worth sticking around for,” said bass player, Joe Jones.

“We wanted to have an album,” Thompson says, “that really sounds like what we’re doing every night out on the road without being a ‘live’ album.”

My favorite part about this album is the easy-going melodies that are so trouble-free and enjoyable to listen to repeatedly.

 “Guinevere” describes a woman who is emotionally distraught, yet is always looking, full-force, into the future. “Famous,” works hard for love while the title track “Jet Black & Jealous” is as unique as the others, with a touch of harmonica throughout parts of the track.

“When It Rains,” the song that initially caught the attention of CMT and GAC, is a cleverly written song that portrays an interesting image.

Melodically, “Radio Waves” and “Always The Love Songs” are my favorite songs on the album, but there is not one song of the twelve that does not deserve a good review.

This Universal South/Republic Records debut from the Eli Young Band is powerful and unique. Eli has a strong voice that is unlike any other band in the country music industry. Even though these guys began their band over eight years ago, they have tall ladder to climb, and I can’t wait to hear more.


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