It’s about 500 miles from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Nashville, Tennessee. That’s about a nine-hour drive. Or three hours by plane. It might take a couple weeks to walk there.
Thankfully, for Fayetteville residents, there’s no need to travel all the way to Music City for a taste of good country music. We’ve got an extremely talented group of local guys all our own.
The band, called Backroad Anthem, was started a few years ago after several members got together to play at a local church. In just a short time, they’ve already performed with some of the biggest names in country music, including Chris Young, Josh Turner, Gary Allan, Easton Corbin, Tyler Farr, and Joe Nichols.
They have amassed nearly 20,000 Facebook fans, and have been selling out George’s Majestic Lounge and other venues around the south on the strength of their debut album, Small Town Fame, which was released last year.
This weekend, the band will perform another packed-house when they open for country mega-star, Dierks Bentley, Saturday night at the Arkansas Music Pavilion. It’s a sold out-show as part of the Northwest Arkansas Championship LPGA event, set for this weekend in Rogers.
We got in touch with the band to talk about their success, and they were nice enough to answer some questions for us.
What have you been listening to lately?
Honestly, a lot of the new country artists that have been tearing up the charts, such as Parmalee, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch. But the band favorites of course are Rascal Flatts and Urban.
Tell us a bit about how you guys started playing together.
We all knew each other from a local “opry” and church rehearsal. We decided to start a band to earn some income on the side of our day jobs. Little did we know it wouldn’t be long before Backroad Anthem would become our day job.
You guys have had a pretty crazy year, opening some huge shows at the AMP, and playing the Thunder on the Mountain festival. You guys also sang the National Anthem at Bud Walton Arena. What have been some of the biggest highlights so far?
We’ve gotten to do some incredible things and open for some incredible artists such as Joe Nichols, Josh Turner (his voice is lower in person) and Justin Moore. A highlight for me personally though, has been when Justin Moore was sitting on the stage behind us with a ball cap on watching us by himself. He gave me a headnod when I saw him. He’s just an Arkansas boy like us. Pretty cool.
We heard you guys have a big tour in the works. Tell us a bit about that.
Well, I can’t say much about it yet other than it’s the perfect fit with what we do by singing/serenading sorority houses around the SEC/Big 12. It’s cool to see that our hard work is beginning to turn heads and people will always want to be a part of something bigger.
What cities do you guys enjoy playing in the most?
Our Kansas City fan base seems to bring it every time we show up, but Athens, Georgia knows how to get down. Fayetteville will always be our hometown, though, and we are proud to claim it always.
We saw a photo of you guys at Bret Bielema’s house on Facebook the other day. How did that come about? Is he a pretty cool guy?
Coach B is a cool guy. We have a mutual friend in Todd Ross and Coach saw us open for Gary Allan at the AMP last summer. He enjoyed us and wanted us to play for the football staff and families in his backyard. You can’t turn that down. It was a fun night!
It seems like Fayetteville would be ripe for a thriving country music scene, but for some reason there doesn’t seem to be a lot of bands doing that right now.
You know, that’s the first thing we thought about when we started Backroad Anthem. We thought, there aren’t a lot of bands doing this in NWA. Let’s try and build a fan base of all ages.
What are some other local bands you guys admire?
If it doesn’t have to be country, I would say Boom Kinetic and Barrett Baber for sure. Those guys are friends and have helped us whether it came to borrowing some lights for a show or helping us by showing us some ins and outs of the music business.
Who has the best burger in Fayetteville?
Ha ha. We still base out of Fayetteville and I’m not about to single out one place for best burger. I’ll answer that when we move to Nashville!
Tell us what else you guys have in the works.
Other than a fall tour, you could definitely expect another song/single to download from iTunes and a video. We want to give our fans more of our music.
We’ve seen you guys’ album on iTunes. Where else can folks get their hands on it?
They can find our music basically anywhere. Spotify, Pandora, YouTube.
Backroad Anthem – Farm Town Get Down
Backroad Anthem – Back to Your Roots