October Road is celebrating its third year on the road this year, spreading their version of rockin' country music to the masses. The past two years have found the band performing 300+ times, in five states, to an estimated audience of 250,000+. Including outstanding performances at WeFest in 2005 and 2006, the Red River Valley Fair (2005/2006), numerous appearances on Wild 99s Acoustic Concert Series, and countless fairs and street dances across the Midwest.
2006 started out with a bang with slots on several more of Wild 99's Acoustic Showcases, featuring the band sharing bills with such noted songwriters and performers as Jessie Alexander, Jon Randall, Alvaredo Roadshow, Brian Davis, and the Lo Cash Cowboys. In March the band opened for Billy Currington and in June they opened for country legends Little Texas. Along the way they released their second album, "Expectations", to much critical praise, earning radio airplay across the region and selling copies at lightning pace. July found the band headlining for the first time at Brainerd's All American Bash on the 4th of July. 15,000 fans tore it up as October Road brought the house down. Shortly thereafter the band found themselves on the North Dakota State Fair Flickertail stage revving up thousands of fans for four days in a row. To cap off an already incredible summer, WeFest came calling with two Ranch Stage shows and one Main Stage performance for the second year in a row! The most recent notches in this band's proverbial belt include headlining the CMA party for Leighton Broadcasting at the St. Cloud Civic Center, the release of their very first music video, shows at the world famous Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, TN, and an upcoming DVD due in early 2007! As we enter 2007, the band is looking forward to another incredible year of touring the Midwest and hopefully throughout the nation as well.
The heart of October Road is the powerful combo of drummer Luke Nygaard and bassist Joe Thiele. Laying down incisive grooves and multilayered rhythms, the two are able to bring a unique approach to the normally stagnant drum/bass roles of country music. Next are the virtuoso styling's of lead guitarist Dave Jopp III, who is more than capable of weaving complex melodies throughout each song. Rounding out the group is lead vocalist/guitarist Shawn Smalley whose steady vocals and insightful lyrics put the final touches on the solid base so carefully laid down before him. Their originals singe the senses with brutal honesty about every aspect of life and love. The covers they choose have to mean something to both the group and their many devoted fans. If they don't like it, chances are it wont last long on the song list.
As the band looks onwards towards 2007 there are big plans on the horizon. Recent purchases have significantly improved an already stellar sound and stage experience, new songs are being added weekly to their varied and deep song list, and of course more trips to Nashville are coming soon. 2007 may be the year you start seeing the October Road boys on CMT and GAC!!