Eli Young Band may have just won a song of the year honor at the ACMs, but the band first formed by singer Mike Eli and guitarist James Young has done a decade of touring, and that equals a genuine fan base – one that deserves credit for their recent No. 1 hit.
“‘Crazy Girl’ was obviously a huge turning point,” manager George Couri said. “But we first asked radio stations to play it on a Monday, and on Tuesday the song was available on iTunes. By the end of the week it turned out to be 47,000 sold and the No. 1 country single in the nation. And that is a sign of the fan base. That gave us ammo to go back to radio and say, ‘Look, it’s the No. 1 song and you’re not even playing it yet.’”
Brian Hill, their agent, talked with Pollstar last year, when EYB had a song climbing the charts, and said that all signs pointed to bigger things.
“Everywhere they go, they make friends,” Hill said. “Promoters love them, the house crews love them and they’re very good to their fans. They win every time they play.”
“It has been a lot of work,” co-manager Jenn Poppe said. “But I know in their heart this is what they were meant to be doing. I think they’ve always made a point of enjoying where they were. They’re always looking for the next big step, but they’re not wishing away current successes.”
Couri said one of the reasons EYB should be attractive to promoters is because the management team is dedicated to making the shows successful. Triple 8 keeps a small roster and has in-house marketing, new media and radio contacts.
“Building it show by show, and not just booking it and showing up, is why they have the army they have,” Couri said. “A promoter should think, ‘Wow, that’s why I want to be in this business, because they don’t just sit back and wait for it.’”
EYB just returned from Australia, has dates lined up with Dierks Bentley and Rascal Flatts this spring, and will be headlining come October-December.