Mike Eli was just 10 when his parents took him to see Garth Brooks in concert. Watching the superstar lead him to decide music was his calling. His mom was in his corner, but his dad made it clear college would come first. Father must know best.
Eli went to the University of North Texas. And, as all the best stories go, it was in college that he met his future band mates. His roommate was James Young. It was on the Denton, Texas, campus that they met Chris Thompson and Jon Jones.
The four formed a garage band – just to have fun, as each member pursued separate majors. The band’s fan base grew. They traveled to Nashville, playing at the nightclub Exit/In. While Music City didn’t quite feel like home, the nightclub became one of the band’s favorite venues.
Seventeen years after forming, The Eli Young Band point to three songs as their signature tunes, “When It Rains,” “Always A Love Song,” and “Crazy Girl.” They released their self-titled debut album in 2002.
It wouldn’t be until 2011 for the group to get their national break with the release of the album Life at Best.The album’s first single, “Crazy Girl,” became their first number one. The tune would go on to win the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Song of the Year. The second single, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” also topped the charts. Their third chart topper, “Drunk Last Night,” would come off the album 10,000 Towns.
The band focused on fan favorites from their live shows to put together their upcoming fifth studio album Fingerprints. The first single, “Saltwater Gospel,” was released last summer. The song, co-written by the band’s producer Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon, and Ashley Gorley, puts into perspective how small an individual’s problems are to the big world.
“Skin & Bones,” the second single released this past February, was co-written by Eli, Phil Barton (“Woman Like You”), and Lori McKenna (“Humble and Kind”). It is a very personal love song for Eli. The lead singer has said he and his wife Kacey are so connected that they have become intertwined over time. File the tune under relationship goals.
“She’s in my skin and bones
She’s grace and glory
She’s a back road home
She’s a long story
Yeah the one goodbye that I can’t even imagine
She’s a well thought out plan and I don’t know how it happened
She’s in my skin and bones
She’s in my skin and bones
Now if life is just an old car
And love is just the wheels that keep it rollin’
Every engine needs a spark, yeah
And she’s the fire that’s kept me goin’”
Fingerprints was recorded in Nashville with co-producers Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover (Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Justin Moore). The album’s release date is June 16 on The Valory Music Co.
Preorders start on April 28.
1. “Saltwater Gospel” | Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon, Ashley Gorley
2. “Fingerprints” | Mike Eli, James Young, Ross Copperman, Josh Osborne
3. “Never Again” | Ryan Hurd, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz
4. “Old Songs” | Mike Eli, Andrew DeRoberts, Adam Hambrick, Jason Nix
5. “Drive” | Mike Eli, Ross Copperman, Tom Douglas, Ashley Gorley
6. “Skin & Bones” | Mike Eli, Phil Barton, Lori McKenna
7. “A Heart Needs A Break” | Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
8. “Once” | Mike Eli, James Young, Josh Osborne, Laura Veltz
9. “Never Land” | Mike Eli, James Young, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite
10. “God Love The Rain” | Mike Eli, Erik Dylan, Jason Nix
11. “The Days I Feel Alone” | Mike Eli, Andrew DeRoberts, Adam Hambrick, Jason Nix