Country band Lanco brings its Hallelujah Nights tour to the signal tonight. TODAY
In l ess t han t hree years, Lanco has rocketed from five small- town guys jamming in a carpet warehouse to the band whose single “Greatest Love Story” hit No. 1 before their debut album was even released.
That album, “Hallelujah Nights,” climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums chart this year, and is still No. 39 after 40 weeks on the chart. You might have caught Lanco on TV performing on “The Bachelor” in January or on “Dancing With the Stars” last Monday night.
Now the guys are up for Vocal Group of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards on Nov. 14. They are competing with Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Midland and Old Dominion — pretty heady company for a band who has only released one album.
“We are friends with every act in the vocal group category and we like them a lot,” says Tripp Howell, Lanco drummer. “When you put us in a category with such awesome artists, we’re just proud to be part of that.”
And Howell’s not just spouting the expected humble, “proud- to- be here” line. He’s serious when he explains why.
“We’re one of t he smallest bands in that category. Most of those bands are selling out arenas and playing at arena levels. For a band who has just had the first taste of success and still playing clubs, just to be in the category is awesome for us, is enough for us. We’d love to win, but a lot of these acts are just bigger than us.”
But before the CMAs, Lanco will be in town tonight, Nov. 8, at The Signal on the Hallelujah Nights tour.
Lanco’s surge of success can be attributed to the relatability, the connection their songs make with country music fans. Frontman Brandon Lancaster wrote or co-wrote all the songs on “Hallelujah Nights,” and Howell says they are a reflection of Lancaster’s life as well as the lives of his bandmates.
“Greatest Love Story” is the true story of Lancaster and his wife — high school sweethearts who reconnect after she returns from college. That single has become almost a wedding standard within a year’s time.
“I think we hear at least once a show in the meetand- greet that someone has used it or is going to use at their wedding, and that’s really cool for us. We’re just f ive normal dudes making music the best we can, and to connect with people like that is all we could hope for, what we work for,” says Howell.
Howell and Lancaster met at a festival at Lee University, where Lancaster was a student at the time. Howell, a native of Dalton, Georgia, was planning to move to Nashville, as was Lancaster. The two struck up a friendship, Lancaster played Howell some songs he’d written and the drummer suggested they start a band.
Eric Steedly, lead guitarist, knew Chandler Baldwin, bass, and Jared Hampton, multi-instrumentalist. Howell says they spent a year and a half jamming in the warehouse, working on their sound, before they started playing gigs. They put out an EP in 2016, released single “Greatest Love Story” in 2017 and “Hallelujah Nights” in January 2018.
Howell believes the fact they are all smallt own guys who have experienced the same lifestyles as many of their fans makes their music authentic to listeners.
“We hear a lot about bonfires, drinking cold beer and things that are normal, but when you hear about small, two-lane towns and roads in the middle of nowhere, we lived that. We’re doing our best to make the music we love and we only write songs about what we know, what we’ve lived. Lanco is a result of that.”
Howell says the band is working on new music for a 2019 album, but right now the focus is on the Hallelujah Nights tour.
“We have put together an awesome show. We are playing the entire record, and then we are doing some covers that are some of our favorite songs,” he describes.
Howell says while playing arenas is nice because “it’s loud,” intimate venues like The Signal are just as exciting.
“When we get in clubs like this, and there are people pushing against the gate and the energy is high, that’s what we live for. We are all there rallying around the same songs, so the energy is that ‘we’re all in it together.’”
Lanco brings its Hallelujah Nights tour to The Signal tonight.