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Meet Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band
By Gary Voorhies - CMA Close Up News Service
Photographer: Bry Cox

The title of "Dream Big," the first single from Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand, could also be the group's motto.

"Our songs are a celebration of life," Shupe said. "A lot of our songs are hopeful, overall. There are some sad songs, but you come away from them seeing the positive side. That's the spirit of the RubberBand."

It's a spirit that binds bandmates Shupe (lead vocals, fiddle, mandolin, guitar), Roger Archibald (guitar), Colin Botts (bass), Craig Miner (banjo, bouzouki, guitar, mandolin) and Bart Olson (drums), whose collective sound carries influences from Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash to The Police and AC/DC. 

Shupe's performing career began at 10, in a band assembled by his father. He continued joining various groups through college, only to be disappointed when each broke up just as they seemed to be settling into a groove. "I decided that I was going to make a band that didn't break up," he recalled.

So Shupe conceived of the RubberBand, a group with an ever-shifting "elastic" lineup - but despite his plan, the current roster gelled and has remained in place for several years.

Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand's debut album for Capitol Records Nashville, Dream Big, was released on Sept. 6.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
ARCHIBALD: "Could I get less banjo in the monitors please?"
BOTTS: "Where are we?"
MINER: "Could I get more banjo in the monitors please?"
OLSON: "This bus is freakin' huge."
SHUPE: "Hey Bart, why don't you set up your drum mics."

What instrument do you wish you could play?
ARCHIBALD: "The accordion because it's loud and shiny."
BOTTS: "The tuba because it's big, loud and shiny."
MINER: "The Pedal steel because it's so mysterious."
SHUPE: "The banjo because it's loud and shiny."

When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people
say about you?
BOTTS: "Who?"
MINER: "He was a good guy."
OLSON: "Those guys stole my wallet."

What does Country Music mean to you?
MINER: "To me Country Music is about real life."
OLSON: "It talks about real life, it inspires hope; it shows the nobility of a simple life well lived."
SHUPE: "It's an _expression of the heart of America."

On the Web: www.shupe.net


2005 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.
Photos courtesy of Capitol Records Nashville. Photographer: Bry Cox

 

 

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