Lonestar still shining

By Jim Davis


Being asked to come back and visit can be the best feeling in the world … especially if you’re in a band.

So it’s no surprise that country music band Lonestar hasn’t forgotten the way fans have embraced the group during three decades of making music.

The loyalty is appreciated, and the invitations to “come back” keep coming.

“We just love playing music for fans that want to hear our music,” lead guitarist Michael Britt said during a recent phone interview. “And we’ve been really lucky to have songs that people relate to or have made part of there lives.”

Lonestar will visit Versailles Saturday, March 4, when the group plays a 7 p.m. show at the BMI Event Center.

Britt pointed to his early days in the music business — playing small clubs in small towns — where success came in the form of lining up the next gig. Repeat shows — sometimes playing three or four nights in a row before moving on to another city — got the ball rolling and the bus moving.

“Our goal at the end of the week was for them to ask us to come back,” Britt said. “Maybe that’s why we’re still doing this … we want to make sure everybody wants us back.”

With a slew of radio hits and record sales in excess of 10 million, the band has built a solid fan base and continues to tour regularly.

“Last year we almost hit 100 shows, and that’s the most we’ve done in awhile,” he said, adding that the band will do about 80 this year. Britt said fans at the March 4 show can expect familiar hits and a lot more when they come to Versailles.

“It’s going to be a pretty upbeat show,” he said. “We just worked up a new set list this year. We’re still focusing on our 10 No. 1 songs, but even if you’ve seen us before it will be slightly different.”

Fueled by 10 No. 1 hits and 22 Top Ten singles, Lonestar has drawn country music fans’ attention for three decades and made big waves with 1995’s single “No News.” The group took things up a notch four years later with the album “Lonely Grill” — a record that produced four chart-topping singles (“What About Now,” “Smile,” “Tell Her” and the massively successful “Amazed”) and put the quartet into the upper echelon of country music acts.

Those hits will get a new spin this summer on Lonestar’s upcoming “Ten to 1” album, which features fresh recordings of those chart-toppers with Drew Womack on lead vocals. Fellow band member Dean Sams produced the new CD, which is set for a June 2 release.

Out on the road, Britt noted “Amazed” and “Already There” (from 2001’s album of the same name) tend to elicit the biggest reactions from concert crowds.

And being able to see that response, he said, makes all the tour miles and traveling well worth it.

“That is honestly the best. That’s the reason we’re still doing what we do after 30 years … seeing how your music affects people immediately,” he said. “When you’re making records in the studio you don’t see it, but there really is no better thing than being on stage and seeing that happen.”

Britt will be joined by drummer Keech Rainwater, keyboard/guitarist Sams and lead vocalist Womack — who joined the band in 2021.

He said the foursome really clicks during live performances.

And they have a blast, too.

“With Dean and Keech there’s familiarity. We’ve been playing for so long I know what each of them are going to play and they know what I’m going to play …and there’s something about that camaraderie. It’s an effortless kind of thing,” he explained. “And then when Drew came in he just fit right in.

“He’s also the wild card — we don’t know what he’s going to do,” Britt continued. “He might run down to one end of the stage and start the ‘wave.’ He’s a nut on stage. He’s like a kid in a candy store. We have a lot of fun.”

And, hopefully, fans catch that same vibe.

“Our basic goal is to make (fans) have fun when they’re there … and when they go home I hope they think ‘man, that was lot of fun’ and can’t get enough of us.”

And maybe even ask them to come back.