Ryan Shupe Tickets
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THE BAND Few would-be recording artists have the confidence or wherewithal to enter the mainstream music business on their own terms. The nature of today’s consolidated label structure and clogged mass media channels forces most struggling bands to jump at the first opportunity they see -- if they see one at all. This hyper-Darwinian environment makes the nine-year saga of newly minted Capitol Nashville recording artists Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband that much more intriguing. And it is an affirmation for all those who still believe in music’s ability to rise above the impossibly long odds offered by the high-stakes recording industry. Not only did the band, and only the band, play their own instruments on their new Capitol Records CD, Dream Big, they finished the CD – completely – before even stepping foot into a record label conference room. By making their own disc before signing a contract, they never had to adhere to the edicts of record label execs or go through the standard A&R process of choosing label approved songs and producers. They did it on their own and on their own terms. THE RUBBERBAND Like his bandmates, Ryan Shupe began playing music at a very early age. A second generation fiddle player, he started playing at age five and was soon performing professionally and touring nationally with a group called the PeeWee Pickers. He still plays a fiddle he found in his great aunt’s closet. After years of playing in other bands, Ryan Shupe found that getting gigs in and around Salt Lake City wasn't as a difficult as keeping a group together. After years of fronting bands which inevitably split, Shupe decided to form the RubberBand so he could enlist a rotating group of musicians on a gig-by-gig basis and never have a group “break up.” His plan didn’t exactly work, however. One by one, the temporary sidemen began to stick, fusing into the close-knit final incarnation that exists today. “I’ve known Ryan for roughly 20 years,” says banjo player Craig Miner. “He and I both played in bands as kids - different bands in different parts of the state but the music world was so tight knit we knew each other.” Miner started playing music on a Ukelele bought at a garage sale and continued to adding instruments to his repertoire which now includes guitar, mandolin and bouzouki. He even hand crafts most all of his own instruments. Guitarist Roger Archibald began playing guitar at age 11 against the backdrop of Black Sabbath and Metallica blaring from his older brothers’ stereos and later worked as a musician in the same regional music circuit. “I used to be in a band with Ryan’s sister and when he started looking for a guitar player to start his new band, he asked me to learn some songs. It gelled and we really worked well together so I continued to play with the band and eventually became one of his main players.” Shupe found he attracted like-minded players with a high level of musicianship principally because of his own virtuosity. “I played fiddle from the age of eight so I have some appreciation for a good fiddle player,” says drummer Bart Olson. “My first impression of Ryan was, ‘This guy’s a prodigy.’” Olson could be described the same way. He grew up in a musical environment playing with his award-winning family band, “The Olson Family Fiddlers” and later picking up the drums as his favorite instrument. “I thought the band’s sound was really intriguing, continues Olson. “We have that element of improvisation which is cool. I've always liked music that breathed a little more and had that quality of musicianship to it.” Bass player Colin Botts, a native of San Francisco, is the group’s newest member and its fourth multi-instrumentalist. He began his musical path on a drum at age two, gradually learning violin and piano at age eight before picking up the bass guitar in the 6th grade. Before college, he played bass in jazz bands (even earning the prestigious Louis Armstrong Jazz Award) and percussion in symphonic bands. “Bart, Craig and I had played together and I had played a festival in Utah where Ryan and the band played so we all kind of knew each other,” says Botts. “They brought me in to work on arranging some new songs. They wanted to see if I’d be able to contribute and it fit.” “You have to love playing music and that's why I like all these guys,” Shupe says. "Everybody just loves it. If any of us were in it to be famous or make money, I don’t think it would have worked.” THE DEAL Amazingly, the band had never considered radio formats or genres so figuring out which labels to approach was an issue. “We didn't think that much about where we belonged,” Shupe says. “We were just playing music. When the time came, I really felt like Nashville was the place for us. Aside from the music, the lifestyle and values, they have helped us feel right at home.” “We all play acoustic instruments and our songs fit better there, philosophically,” adds Miner. “On a personal level, the people, fans and other musicians are very much like we are.” Having an established following and regional success put the band among a small but illustrious group of performers who have been able to set their own parameters -- The Dave Matthews Band, country’s Pat Green and Hootie & The Blowfish, to name a few. “We had Nashville producers interested from early on but they all wanted to change things, add things or supply the songs,” says Botts. “To which we were all opposed.” Meeting Nashville producer and songwriter Jason Deere proved to be a breakthrough. “With Jason we got the vibe that he understood what we were doing,” Miner says. “So we got together and made a high quality album to be delivered to a label as finished product. When it was done we took it around to the labels and did conference room performances. We found the perfect match with Capitol.” That kind of creative freedom for a newly-signed recording artist is almost unheard of. “What's shaped this band is a desire to put on a good show and provide positive and entertaining music for our fans,” Botts says. “It's been a natural evolution born mainly out of a lot of playing. It isn't like anyone came in and said, ‘This is what you need to do.’” Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.