Country music without the clichÃ©s
For bands, losing a member can be traumatic. That's why it's remarkable that country groups Gloriana and Love & Theft have each lost one core member in the past two years, only to find greater success soon afterward.
The harmony-dependent, Nashville-based groups are on top of the country charts, peaking at the same time as they'll be headlining the inaugural Labor Day Music Festival at the Gallivan Center on Monday.
The festival has a full offering of local rock bands during the first part of the day, with local and nationally touring country musicians back-to-back-to-back that evening.
Love & Theft • The trio Love & Theft Liles, Eric Gunderson and Brian Bandas nearly disbanded when Bandas left in 2011 after one album and one Top 10 hit, "Runaway."
Instead, Liles and Gunderson became a duo, sticking with their name, borrowed from the title of Bob Dylan's 2001 album. They went on to sign a new record deal, and this year released a self-titled album. "It's a total statement of identity," Liles said. "What we are is what we're going to be from now on."
Sticking together worked out for the musicians. "Angel Eyes," the album's first single, became the group's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard country chart.
"It was validation," Liles said. "It was so rewarding when 'Angel Eyes' went No. 1. It's a long journey, and people didn't give up on us."
Gloriana • The band is made up of Tom Gossin, along with his brother Mike Gossin and Rachel Reinert. The group had four members until July 2011, when singer and mandolin player Cheyenne Kimball departed. Kimball previously had won the televised competition "America's Most Talented Kid" and had a short-lived reality show on MTV called "Cheyenne."
The exit couldn't have come at a worse time. The quartet had just wrapped up recording what was to be its sophomore record, with Kimball's presence all over the album.
"The whole departure threw a wrench in it," Gossin said. After talking among themselves and the record company, the group decided to shelve the entire album and re-record another. The re-recorded album, "A Thousand Miles Left Behind," was released in late July, and what Gossin called a better album produced the band's first Top 10 single on the Billboard charts, "(Kissed You) Good Night," which eventually hit No. 2.
"It's really nice to have that validation with a hit song," said Gossin, who co-wrote the song with Nashville hit-maker Josh Kear.
A little bit country, a little bit rock
The Labor Day Music Festival will feature a day of local rock bands and a night of country music, including two nationally touring headliners.
When • Monday, Sept. 3, at 11 a.m.
Where • Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main St., Salt Lake City
Tickets • $25 at SmithsTix
11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. • Young Electric
12:45-1:15 p.m. • Of Earth Inside (formerly known as Melodramus)
1:45-2:45 p.m. • American Hitmen
3:30 -4:45 p.m. • Royal Bliss
5-6 p.m. • Bootleg Boulevard
6:30-7:30 p.m. • Jagertown
8-9:15 p.m. • Love and Theft
9:45-11 p.m. • Gloriana
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