About the Band
There are bands that play country, and then there are country bands. Some would say it boils down to authenticity – and in this day and age that is increasingly hard to find. But when you drop the needle on an Eleven Hundred Springs record, or find yourself at a show, you’ll know you’re listening to the real deal. That’s not a thing one can imitate, and the boys in Eleven Hundred have the pedigree to match any of the all-time greats. It’s about honesty and lack of pretense, a commitment to the true soul of country music – what Steve Earle calls real country music.
Listening to the band is like pulling out your favorite country albums. They may not look like the average contemporary country act, but the love of tradition and hardscrabble spirit that make up true Americana is easy to see. When guitarist/singer Matt Hillyer and bassist Steven Berg first started the band way back in 1998, some folks reduced their sound to imitation – amalgamations of Merle Haggard, George Jones, Hank Williams and the like. But over the course of twenty years and eleven albums, Eleven Hundred Springs has proven time and again that it’s not imitation, it’s everything that makes the classics so timeless: amazing songwriting, great performances, and distinct personality.
Twenty years of constant performing, traveling, recording, and releasing albums of original material is a hard-earned life. Thus, in 2017, just before celebrating their second decade as a band, Eleven Hundred had reached a crossroad. They decided to breathe new life into the band, starting by booking the live shows they all truly felt good about playing, introducing excitement and fun back into the equation. This decision also led to bringing in new members to the Eleven Hundred brotherhood, introducing Chad Rueffer on guitar and vocals, Ray Austin on pedal steel, and Christian Dorn on drums.