Just six months after Dave Adkins and Republik Steele launched their successful debut album, That’s Just the Way I Roll, the Eastern Kentucky band is laying down tracks for a new CD. And they’re doing it for a different label, leaving Rural Rhythm for Mountain Fever Records.
“I’m so excited to have this chance,” Adkins said. “It’s a one-record deal to make sure everybody’s happy. I’ve really got some expectations for this second album.”
The new record, not yet titled, is being co-produced by Mountain Fever CEO Mark Hodges, Aaron Ramsey, the mandolinist for the band Mountain Heart, and Adkins. The game plan is to release a single in time for this year’s World of Bluegrass, where Republik Steele will be a showcase band, with the full album to follow.
Two songs have already been tracked and other songs are being selected and written.
Hodges and Adkins got to know each other at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass last year in Nashville, where Adkins was being touted by his then-new label, Rural Rhythm. The debut album made something of a splash, appearing briefly on Billboard’s bluegrass chart and earning Adkins and the band a few spots on the preliminary ballot for this year’s IBMA awards. (Choices for the final ballot will be announced next week.)
But, as often happens in the music business, the music and the business didn’t mesh as smoothly as everyone might have wished, and when Adkins started looking around for a new deal that would keep his band of hometown friends together, he remembered meeting and liking Hodges. “He was so hands on with all of his artists,” Adkins said.
Adkins, a soulful, big-voiced singer who reminds some listeners of Chris Stapleton, is eager to wrap up the new project, and the band is already lining up a solid list of bookings for 2014.
“I’m so excited to see what the future holds,” he said. But, with a nod to the past, he was quick to add, “and we’re so thankful for what we’ve had.”