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Many miles from the mecca of country music in Nashville and equally far from mainstream country, Minneapolis-based Rocket Club seems to have struck the perfect chord. Using an unusual blend of rich three-part harmonies, arena guitar riffs, honest and intelligent songwriting, and passionate live shows, this group is steadily bringing their country —North Country— to the world.
Formed just four short years ago, Rocket Club experienced a rapid and, by their telling, surprising ascent into the consciousness of the Nashville music industry. After scoring two hits on the Billboard national charts in 2009 and 2010 – despite their indie status – the band was heavily courted by the industry, but became increasingly disenchanted by the insistence of industry execs that they assimilate. Country music doesn’t come from Minnesota, they were told. Bands don’t work as well as solo artists. Having multiple singers is confusing. And so on.
But instead of zigging, the band decided to zag. Instead of distancing themselves musically from the Great White North, they did just they opposite. They wrote it a love song.
In the summer of 2011, Rocket Club launched the anthem of their musical heritage and a new chapter of their career. The single “North Country” hit the radio waves and quickly raced up the charts (debuting at #60 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in June 2011), again demanding the attention of fans and the music industry alike to take notice of this new, decidedly non-southern, form of country music; music that northerners can claim as their own and folks elsewhere want to experience. As one industry insider told the band, it may have been the only song in recent decades to make the Country charts with the word “North” in the title.
Following a hugely successful summer season playing shows across the midwest for growing audiences that resonated with the “North Country” sound, the band set out to complete their third studio release. During the winter of 2011-2012, the twelve tracks of the North Country album were selected from over one hundred that the band’s skilled writers brought to the table.
North Country, produced by Joel Sayles, covers a wide range of musical ground and clearly puts the group’s variety of influences, tastes and abilities on display, but all with the common bond of outstanding vocal and songwriting chops. From the pop stylings of the single “She’s The One” — a love song for the second time around — to the intimate grandeur of “Friends Stand In Line.” From the hard rock good times of “Living Out Loud” to the playful country sophistication of “One Of These Days.” From the elegant, symphonic journey of “Get A Boat” to the good-natured, tongue-in-cheek wit of “Four-Letter World,” this album, 100% born and bred in the North Country, has it all.