Although Lonestar has been around for 20 years, the country rocking group is far from stagnation.
Fans will have the opportunity to rediscover Lonestar at the Seneca Allegany Casino on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
With a new self-produced album, new singles, a 20th anniversary tour and the return of lead vocalist Richie McDonald, who was replaced by Cody Collins in 2007, the band has much to offer longtime fans and newcomers alike.
Lonestar will perform at the Seneca Allegany Casino on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
"It's a reinvigorated Lonestar," lead guitarist Michael Britt told The Post-Journal. "When we started talking to Richie about coming back, we actually started to get really excited. When you've been doing it for 20 years it's nice to have something to get you excited about it again."
After Richie rejoined the group, the band immediately started to write and record music together. The newly reformed Lonestar started working on an album in December 2011, and it will be coming out around October.
"We do have a lot of stuff going on," said Britt. "We've been working on the road trying to get our show back together, and I think they've been going great. The fans seem really responsive, and it's just nice having the band back together. It's new and familiar at the same time."
One thing that isn't familiar is that the band is co-writing a number of the songs on the new album. According to Britt, it's the first time they've ever written music together as a full band.
"We've got 12 songs on the new record, and the band has co-written almost all of them," said Britt. "We've learned to produce our own records over the years from working with so many different producers. So, we know what we want to sound like. "
Having creative control of the recording process has made the experience a ton of fun for the band.
"It's been a blast," said Britt. "We go in and knock it out and get it done, and we're happy with the product. And, that's really all we can ask."
There may already be "very best" and "greatest hits" Lonestar albums on the market, but according to Britt, the new album will even top those.
"Our newest album is the best we've ever done," said Britt. "The songs seem stronger, they're catchier and they are fun songs to play. I think after 20 years we don't take everything quite so seriously. We just want to have fun, and that's what this album is about. It's the fun side of Lonestar."
The new album may not be hitting shelves until October, but in the meantime, fans can enjoy the newest single called, "The Countdown," which will premiere on Tuesday.
"'The Countdown' is a really fun song because we know people haven't heard it on the radio yet," said Britt. "But, we've been playing it at live shows all year, and by the second chorus everyone is singing along every night. It's one of those catchy up-tempo songs that gets people excited. And, it has so much energy, both on the record and live. I think it's my favorite song to play."
There are also four other new songs that Lonestar plays during live shows. The band hopes to give their fans a good representation of the new album before they go out and buy it. The live performance will also include a mix of classic hits such as "Amazed," "I'm Already There" and "Smile."
A unique aspect of Lonestar's live performance is that the band is versatile. McDonald mostly focuses on lead vocals and sometimes plays a song or two on the keyboard, while keyboardist Dean Sams takes up the acoustic guitar. Britt rocks out on lead guitar and backing vocals and Keech Rainwater holds it down on percussion. Together, they are Lonestar, the chart topping, multi-platinum, music-making quartet.
"It's really nice being that versatile, " said Britt. "We can all strap on guitars if we need to and rock out, and there are other times when we really have to have the piano to drive the ballads."
The reformation of the band has led to a focus on making live performances more fun for both Lonestar and the audience.
"Our shows all year have been fun," said Britt. "I know that when the crowds leave they are happy and have a smile on their face. If we can do that everywhere we go, I think we'll be in good shape."
According to Britt, the live show is a great opportunity to reconnect with Lonestar on a level that fans haven't been able to see in years.
"If they've ever liked a Lonestar song they should come see this show, because I guarantee they'll be a fan again after they do," he said.
For more information visit lonestarnow.com. To purchase tickets visit senecaalleganycasino.com or call 888-913-3377.