They’ve just signed to a major label, but they don’t have any plans to move from Fort Worth to L.A., New York, Nashville, Des Moines, or any other fancy-schmancy city.
Nope, the young Cowtowners of Green River Ordinance are gonna stay here, even though they’ll be recording and touring all over the country seemingly non-stop for the next hundred years. In December, GRO will begin pre-production on a forthcoming album, the first of a five-record deal freshly inked with Capitol Records. The deal also involves tour support and major airplay on Hot-AC and Top-40 commercial radio stations, and manager Paul Steele also expects some spinnage on college radio and Triple-A (a.k.a. Album Adult Alternative).
The genesis of the deal goes back to last year’s SXSW Music Festival in Austin, where GRO played – not as part of SXSW – but as part of the concurrent RedGorilla Music Fest. “We were packed to capacity,” Steele said, adding that the club’s official capacity was about 200. “We had to turn away a bunch of people.” Following the RedGorilla gig was one in Nashville sandwiched by two all-expenses-paid major-label showcases, in L.A. and New York. “We had seven labels in L.A. come out,” Steele said. But the major-label deal was struck after the NYC showcase.
Capitol’s president, Steele said, went to the show and approached the band afterward. “They had no idea they were talking to the president,” said Steele, who just let his boys go on obliviously. They told the bigwig how they’d played 180 shows over the past year and sold – independently – over the past year and a half 10,000 copies of both The Beauty of Letting Go, the band’s one and only album, and the EP Way Back Home. “‘What the heck? Why don’t you guys have a deal?'” Steele recalls the president saying. And within five minutes, after a single phone conversation between the president and GRO’s lawyer, it was done. Details have been finalized only recently. While in L.A., the band also did two spec songs with Greg Collins, who won a Grammy in 2004 for his engineering work on U2’s Grammy-winning How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
He also has worked with matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls – two of GRO’s biggest influences – and wants to go into producing full-time. GRO hopes to work with him on the forthcoming album, but the decision ultimately will be made by Capital Records. You can catch the band tonight (Wed.) at a signing party in Dallas or tomorrow (Thurs.) at a signing party at 8.0, at 111 3rd St. in Sundance Square. Steele said the band will play a mix of old songs and brand-new ones that stand a good chance of being on the new album. Fans also can surf to www.freegro.net, plug in their contact info, and download a free copy of The Beauty of Letting Go or get Way Back Home at a discount. “We figure [The Beauty] has sold all it will,” Steele said. Plus, e-mail addresses accumulated on the site will help later when time comes to promote the new album, the major-label one.
Contact HearSay at hearsay fwweekly.com.