22 October 2014
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The George Brothers have been playing music their whole lives. They began perfoming in their mom and dad’s Gospel group when they were about 6 and 8 years old. Then they got a little older and discovered Merle, Willie, Waylon, Cash…and Miller Lite. From then on they were hooked on a variety of southern rock and country music and added to their list of influences Skynyrd, Jerry Reed, the Allman Brothers and songwriters like Dean Dillon and Rodney Crowell just to name a few. By the 1990’s they were playing at least 6 nights a week, and in 2001 bought their own music theater in Eureka Springs, AR. Since then the guys have entertained over a half a million guests in their theater, with the majority of fans coming from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. In 2002, they hired Leslie Wright to sing in the band as well. Leslie had also been writing songs and singing her whole life, starting a full time job in the music industry at just 6 years old. As luck would have it, she was also an all out computer geek who designed graphics, created websites, fixed computers, and intensely studied internet marketing. As fate would have it, she became Randall George’s best friend, the George Brothers’ biggest fan, and their biggest pain in the butt that believed in them when their humble souls couldn’t believe in themselves (as we say in the south for folks that wear us out…”bless their hearts”).
In 2009, something sparked the guys’ interest…the Texas music scene. They guys have been known for their love of Harley’s and their slew of biker friends who come in to ride before shows. After one of these shows, a friend from Texas stopped them after hearing some of their original music (which at the time they only played for close friends) and said “man…you guys are red dirt!” Not knowing what this was at the time, the guys began researching and found a musical niche that seemed to fit what they’d been doing all along. It was like coming home…and the George Brothers bought a one way ticket.
Realizing they weren’t exactly spring chickens anymore, the guys decided to give it all or nothing. Playing 6 nights a week in their own theater was comfortable, but these guys wanted more. They already had a taste of the Texas music scene and they were craving it like addicts. Since they already had a lot of fans in Texas and Oklahoma, it was only natural to reach out to these fans and get the party started. They proclaimed Leslie the manager, seeing as how she was the only one who could correctly spell words and write fluent emails in less than the hour it took them to do so. They rounded up their best songs, wrote a few more (after deciding some of them really sucked), and ran down to the local town square where a building had burned down, making an excellent backdrop for some cool photos. They created a logo, a CD design, and headed to Sound Illusions studio in Berryville, AR where they laid down the tracks to the cd “Brothers, Friends, & Outlaws Forever” with studio owner and friend, Wes Hutchison. They played all instruments, sang all parts, and produced the CD together. It was truly a George Brothers work of art from top to bottom…complete with a cool new guitar sound that came from leaving an extra mic on in the vocal booth. At the last minute, it was still missing something. It needed slide guitar. Hmm….no one had ever played slide guitar in the band. Not a problem for Randall though, who said “throw me something I can use as a slide” and flipped his guitar over on his lap. A few run throughs and slide guitar was in the house. Leslie then called up a friend, Luke Wooten, who was the sound engineer at Station West. Luke offered the guys a great deal to mix and master the CD, so we burned all the raw files onto a disc and headed 8 hours away to give Luke a visit. Three days later we had a finished project, three people with headaches, and three sets of ears that we thought would never recover. It was loud…it was raw…it was the George Brothers, and we couldn’t have been more excited. Now they were hoping Texas would feel the same way.
After almost 2 years of beating their heads against brick walls, stressing out, nearly going bankrupt, losing faith, building it back up again, and flat out giving up….the George Brothers decided to give it one more shot. They already had hit some cool milestones including a couple of endorsements by Pig Trail Harley-Davidson in Rogers, AR and Forman Harley-Davidson in Stillwater, OK. They had a two page article featured about them in the Harley Owner’s Group Magazine “HOG Tales”. They’d received the DISCovery Award by Music Row Magazine. But they still weren’t getting anywhere.
They called Dorothea Ivey of Cabin Creek, who 2 years ago had never returned their phone call. Dorothea was the turning point. Not only did she listen and say “hell yeah, I’ll promote you guys!”…she backed up a step and said “you know…there’s someone else you need to be in touch with. His name is Clay Neuman.” She called Clay, who claims that anything Dorothea recommends to him is “gold”, and agreed to listen. After months of talks, visits, interrogations, and no telling what kind of research and background checks he did on the guys (ha ha), Clay signed the George Brothers to his promotion label at Vision Entertainment in August of 2012. Seems perfect? Yes…almost.
The George Brothers exhausted all funds they had and went from a somewhat comfortable life owning a theater and performing 6 nights a week to (in the minds of Texas) just another band trying to make it. With absolutely nothing left to go on but faith, the guys put the last bit of money they had into two weeks of radio touring. “If we’re gonna go down, let’s go down giving it our best shot.” That’s the motto of the George Brothers. Time is brutal. Radio stations are vital. Fans decide their fate. And the George Brothers are hitting radio stations and stages everywhere in full force in one last effort to surprise Texas with the best thing they wished they’d heard years ago. The George Brothers ARE Brothers, Friends, and Outlaws Forever. Love it or hate it…but you won’t be able to ignore it. When you hear bikes rumbling, leathers unzipping, and a loud fan group of mixed colors and clubs all in support of the guitar driven raw country music they do best…you’ll know the George Brothers are in town.