What has perfect pitch harmonies is all male and is getting ready to embark on a 30th Anniversary Tour? The answer would be Restless Heart. Recently I had the opportunity to talk to one of the very personable members of Restless Heart about the tour and the band and this is what he shared with me:
Q So thirty years?
A Crazy isn’t it?
Q Yeah, what made you guys decide to do this?
A Well, we’ve been doing some shows together over the past few years or so and we just got finished doing our first Christmas Tour, we did ten shows in thirteen days and that was a lot of fun. We really really had a great time doing that and you know we just can’t believe that it is already thirty. The original five guys and we feel very lucky that we still can do this and still playing and singing together as well or better than we ever have. We have been in the studio recording and trying to come up with a couple of different projects for next year, some new music and we are going to do a re-release of our first Christmas Album.
Q Is that going to be for next year?
A Yeah, it will be for next year.
Q Oh then this is a real cool sneak peek for everybody then?
Q Oh great.
A Anyway, who knows man, it is just crazy to think the way we got together and the way we had to kind of shut it down in the nineties because things were you know off the chart kind of crazy trying to keep five crazy guys together and sing. And then to be able to pull us all five together again and we just really thought we would go do a few shows and here it is going into 2013 we’re a full go. We are really excited about it.
Q Well you guys in the nineties you were what, were you around close to thirty years old?
Q And it was hitting big, probably everywhere you went you guys got mobbed I am sure?
A Well, here and there maybe but nothing like Garth Brooks or Elvis but we had a great little run there despite ourselves and we just really got lucky and recorded some songs that we still love to play and sing together and people still want to hear so. We are very fortunate.
Q I was reading about how you originally came to Nashville to play baseball?
A Yeah, that is how I came you know and that’s part of the meant to be part of the equation comes in because even though I was involved in music in my own little way and doing some writing and then singing with my father when I was a teenager and around town and around Missouri and Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois you know singing for Elks Clubs and Churches and things like that. My father was a really good singer and he kind of taught me the ropes and how to sing harmony and he taught me how to play the piano and all that stuff when I was very very young. I came into Nashville and some friends of our in the music business told the coach who was the coach at the time for Belmont that he needed to go see this young man play. He was going to be playing in the volunteer state so he and the assistant coach came and watched me play and I hit like two home runs and I went four for four and I have never done that in my life.
Q Oh wow.
A And they offered me to come and play for Belmont right then after the game.
Q And you are thinking how can I ever beat that day?
A I never could. You know I mean it was just like the good Lord said okay. This is your day for a darn good reason and it’s crazy so that’s what got me to Belmont and got me introduced to a lot of these guys and the producers on music row and one thing led to another and we all met and came together in 1983.
Q Who came up with the name Restless Heart?
A Well it was a song on our first album that, “Let the Heartbreak Ride and Heartbreak Kid” was on and we had signed with RCA and they had already picked the single to be released and we didn’t have a name for the band.
A We had to lock ourselves in a room and get with friends and family and giving us some ideas and we had to worse names for bands you ever heard. At the time it was like, “oh my gosh what are we going to do.” The man from RCA said we have got a single to release and we have got to put the name of the band on there so ya’ll got to figure this out. So yeah, it was a really great song. It was never released as a single and it our guitar player Greg Jennings idea. He said what about Restless Heart? We looked at each other and went man to man and we loved it. So we got on the phone and called the label and said we got a name.
Q It probably fit you guys. I am sure you all restless hearts at the time?
A Still do. It is really a good name for us. It has a ring to it.
Q People don’t forget it. I know the first time I heard it I never forgot it.
A Oh really?
A Those are kind of hard to find. The Beatles, the Eagles.
Q The Beatles, I never got that. I’ll be honest with you. The name itself, Beatles, they named themselves after what? Bugs?
A I know. When I first heard the Beatles, I went the Beatles.
Q So that’s what I mean. It turned out to be an iconic name. So the 30th Anniversary Tour, are you writing material?
A Yes, we are. We are writing material, we have some material that some other folks wrote as well. I have written a few songs so yeah we have been pretty busy in the studio this year and we are still talking to some people trying to figure out how we want to do this release and make it an event and when and exactly what it is going to be and who so? We really have some fun things that we want to do?
Q Are you guys really happy that the world didn’t end?
A I think that there is another plan for the way the world is supposed to come to an end. I think I trust that one better than the Mayans to be quite honest with you.
Q I know and just a whole year of it. Actually I think this has been going on longer than a year I think, the talk of this and it’s enough. Let it go people, let it go.
A I know. It’s crazy.
Q What would you like people to know about your 30th Anniversary Tour and the future?
A First I would like to say thank you to the fans. Country music fans stick with you. They are truly great. Who would have ever thought back in the early nineties that in 2013 that the five of us would still be together because the critics said this band would not last.
Q And you are all still alive?
A We are still alive.
Q I mean that’s huge. It’s huge. Band members die unfortunately.
A Yeah, I know it.
Q So you guys were meant to get out there and do this. So I know that there were comings and going and you got back together how many years ago? Was it 2004?
A Yeah, something like that.
Q And then what have you been doing since then?
A Just doing some, we did a little run called Triple Threat that we did with Blackhawk and Little Texas for a couple of years and then just doing some shows here and there, yeah. You know now we have ramped it up in the last couple of years and kind of gearing up for our 30th and we are going to have a really full schedule next year and we had a full schedule this year. While we can do it and while we love to do it we are going to do it.
Q And you are out there by yourselves for the 30th Anniversary Tour right?
A Yes, at this point it’s all us. It is not to say that we are not going to share the stage with some people you know at some of these big festivals that we may be doing. But for the most part it is just Restless Heart.
Q This is exciting. I am looking forward to hearing some new stuff. It’s going to be tough to beat some of these songs though. How do you beat, “I’ll Still Be Loving You?”
A You can’t. I mean you don’t even try. I mean you can’t replace that. You can’t say okay we have got to do something better than that. If you want to try and do something that rivals that you know good luck to us. Some of the stuff that we have got, it’s Restless Heart but it’s more current but it’s still the classic sound of the five voices singing together and hopefully the quality of the writing of the songs are up to standard that we always held ourselves back in the day. You just hope everybody likes what they hear. You just do your best.
Q When you are writing do you write with harmonies in mind? Do you gear it toward having that five part harmony?
A I do. It has to have certain approach to the way the melody lays and the music lends itself to three and four part harmonies.
Q That has to be difficult to write with that in mind every time you write. There has to be times you don’t write with that in mind?
A I write with a lot of quality writers around town here and there and so it certainly helps to co-write.
Q You guys have perfect pitch and perfect harmony.
A I have the best gig around because I get to stand in the middle of the stage and listen to the other four guys and we all five sing on almost every song together and just it’s almost like that family thing. You’ve heard those family harmony type things that are kind of the way I feel like it is with us. I mean the guys just sing right on spot on every night. It’s just a lot of fun to sing with these guys.
Q And I don’t think people realize that harmony is not an easy thing to do.
A Well it is easier for some than others.
Q There is a knack to it and you can either do it or you can’t do and you guys do it the best.
A We are really lucky. It is like a meant to be thing for the five of us to get together so many years ago and still able to do it.
Q And you are going to go do it again and again and again.
A And we sure are. We are just getting started.
Q I look forward to hearing the new stuff.
With that we spoke for a little while about things that were off the record and I can’t share here. I know you want to hear them but a promise is a promise. Suffice it to say that Restless Heart is here to share more music with us all and I know I for one am going to make sure I catch at least one of their 30th Anniversary Tour Shows in 2013.
Find out more about Restless Heart and their tour schedule at: http://www.restlessheartband.com/