Eleven Hundred Springs
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Eleven Hundred Springs

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"Album review: Eleven Hundred Springs, This Crazy Life"

Eleven Hundred Springs is a classic country group with deep Texas roots and the look to prove it. They have a traditional appeal that can satisfy your parents or your teenager. Their newest work, This Crazy Life, tells stories in a clear and precise way that allows you to delve into others' lives while enjoying the pedal steel guitar.

A the beginning of the album, songs like "Great American Trail" and "This Crazy Life" get your feet moving and speedily introduce you to what the band is about. EHS has a classic twang in every song, putting an identifiable fingerprint on all of their work. Matt Hillyer does a great job as front man. He aligns his moods with the verses, proving his compatibility with the music. His deep southern voice puts the band right where they need to be.

One of my favorites, "Mellow Mood," sets you right in the middle of a summer day in the living room with the window open and the sunlight pouring in. There might even be a glass of lemonade involved. The constant strum of the guitar almost gives a tropical feel, identifying with the olden times.

The album flows naturally, clearly showing the group's versatility. The only thing that threw it off was the last track, "Straight to Bed." It is so upbeat and cheery, that it could fit nicely in the middle of the album. This song shouldn't be missed, which is the fear I have since it's placed at the end of the album.

You can hear the bands' history throughout the entire CD. This is not their first go around. The beats coincide nicely with the speed of the guitar and the vocals. The pedal steel guitar contributes thoroughly adding that Southern appeal.
Eleven Hundred Springs

* Fri
* Feb
* 5th
* 10PM

* Billy Bob's Texas
* 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth
* $12
* Age limit: N/A

"Show Me the Money" is EHS' first single off of the album. It could easily be played on the radio. It's the classic story of the woman feeling unappreciated financially, but the man is doing all he can. Many listeners will likely identify with this song and enjoy dancing to it with friends.

The album cover creates a question or two. My impression is that Eleven Hundred Springs is a hard rock band with a country edge, due to the tatted up arm holding a yellowed label beer. But this is not what they're going for. The idea is understood, but not compatible here. It could attract the wrong people or send the right ones the other way.

This Crazy Life was recorded in Fort Worth in the heat of the summer. If the hot Texas sun is what's needed to produce tracks such as these, then summer sessions it is! - Brenna Rushing, Pegasus News

"Review: Eleven Hundred Springs "This Crazy Life" (Smith Music)"

Eleven Hundred Springs set the country music world on fire with "Country Jam." Since then, the traditional country band has been working hard on "This Crazy Life," which delivers on all levels. Yes, Eleven Hundred Springs is back, and the band is better than ever.
The album begins with the title track "This Crazy Life," which is a surprisingly reflective and laid-back tune with superb lyrics about life on the open highway along with Eleven Hundred Springs usual top-notch production. "Great American Trainwreck" offers a timely analysis of the reality stars and D-list celebrities that are being enriched by their out-of-control behavior.

The best song on the album is the terrific "There's A Place For You." In a world filled with foreclosures and layoffs, "There's A Place For You" offers hope and happiness for the future. The traditional country "I'll Get On To Getting Over You Tomorrow" takes listeners back to a simpler time, and the pitch-perfect vocal performance dazzles on all levels.

"Get Through The Day" and "I'm In A Mellow Mood" are country gems that support Eleven Hundred Springs stated goal of helping take back country music from the grips of Nashville. But the album really gets rockin' with "Show Me The Money (Or I'll Show You The Door)," which has an infectiously catchy and hummable hook.

The album "This Crazy Life" offers stellar rockabilly-style country performances on "Straight To Bed" and "High On The Town" However, the biggest surprise on the project is "Some Things Go Together," which is a classic country masterpiece.

The album also offers penetrating social commentary in the lyrics. The love song "Honky Tonk Angels (Don't Happen Overnight)" is an ode to the secretly tender hearts of tough-looking barflies. "O.G. Blues" gives a sobering and thoughtful portrayal of the problems faced by men who can't seem to keep up with the latest iPad or other social trends.

Eleven Hundred Springs founders Steve Berg (bass) and Matt Hillyer (lead guitar and vocals) host The Country Jam Radio Show every Wednesday on Dallas-Fort Worth's KHYI 95.3 The Range. Eleven Hundred Springs are workaholics, and it shows. Indeed, with music as good as this, Eleven Hundred Springs is bound to be living "this crazy life" on the country charts for the next couple of decades or so. CountryChart.com - CountryChart.com

"CD Reviews: Eleven Hundred Springs-This Crazy Life"

Nobody in Texas produces foot-tapping honky-tonk music quite like Eleven Hundred Springs. Their latest record, This Crazy Life, is a rumbling heap of sawdust and country thump positivity.The 11Hondo catalog is full of albums and songs that exude the type of music that built places like Gruene Hall and Luckenbach. Lead singer and guitarist, Matt Hilyer, has a plaintive Gram Parsons type wail and Waylon's nimbleness on the Tele. Hilyer and company manage to sound traditional without sounding dated which is a large task they accomplish seemingly effortlessly. Bouncing backbeats mingle with rolling Waylon-esque guitar-riffs throughout the album.

This collection kicks off with the title track. A plucky acoustic guitar slides around electric guitars, steel guitar and a tinge of fiddle. The lyrics are a comment on the musician's vagabond lifestyle and how the protagonist would like to have a traditional lifestyle...when he's older. But, as for now he's going to happily lead the crazy life of the road. "Great American Trainwreck" is somewhat of a follow-up to the opening title track. It details the seedier side of life on the road with the type of music backing it that make you realize had this band been around in the 70's they'd be huge.

The album's first single, "Show Me The Money (Or I'll Show You the Door)", is the type of playful Buck Owens Bakersfield throwback tune that BR-549 and The Derailers used to excel at, but we haven't heard enough of lately. "The OG Blues" is actually a strong waltz that laments the way things used to be. It is refreshing to see Hilyer croon and play outside the lines favored by modern country music. "High on the Town" has a guitar riff that would make Jerry Reed proud and a thumping stand-up bass stomping throughout the entire 4 minutes plus the song lasts. The influence of Bob Wills appears on "Some Things Don't Go Together" rounding out an album's worth of Hilyer putting his own spin on the style of his heroes.

This album rocks without cranking up the snare in the mix, and it even features the aforementioned mandolin-driven waltz. I've heard very few country records over the past couple years that cover so many facets of the broad-based genre so well. I for one hope that Eleven Hundred Springs continue living this crazy life and producing music this fine. - www.galleywinter.com


This Crazy Life (2010), Best of the Early Years 1999-2001 (2010), Country Jam (2008), Bandwagon (2004), A Straighter Line (2001), No Stranger to the Blues (2000), Live at Adairs (1999), Welcome to Eleven Hundred Springs (1999)



“Eleven Hundred Springs - a standout country band that, unlike the majority of corporate-Nashville’s offerings, is actually informed by country music’s traditions while sounding modern, present, and new.” 9513Country Music
Eleven Hundred Springs plays real country music. The kind Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings played. With their classic country sound EHS are part of a current semi-rebellious Texas music movement to "Take Country Back" from Nashville much like the Outlaw music movement did back in the 1970s.
With the release of their sixth full length studio album, This Crazy Life, Eleven Hundred Springs carries on their musical tradition, blending influences ranging from classic country, country rock, swing, rockabilly, and bluegrass yet still sounding distinct and original.
This Crazy Life is the follow up to 2008’s release Country Jam, which was produced by Lloyd Maines. While writing songs for their next album, the band was approached by Smith Entertainment. Having already had a long and friendly relationship with Smith this seemed like a great partnership. This time, however, the co-founding members, Matt Hillyer and Steve Berg, decided to put Maines’ valuable production lessons to work and produce This Crazy Life themselves.
The album was recorded in the heat of the summer in Ft. Worth, Texas’ Wavelight studios. From the opening title track, (a lament of life on the road) to the hard-driving party anthem “Great American Trainwreck”; This Crazy Life gets off to a toe-tapping start. The album’s first single “Show Me The Money” speaks to an emotion that people in these troubled times are sure to relate to. This Crazy Life also offers stand out tracks for fans of the more “Singer-Songwriter” type of music in “There’s A Place For You” and “O.G. Blues”.
Of course it wouldn’t be an Eleven Hundred Springs album without the traditional country sounds the band cut its teeth on. “Some Things Don’t Go Together” and “I’ll Get On To Getting Over You Tomorrow” are some of the best Swing and Honky Tonk Texas has to offer. While the influences and sounds cover a wide range, two elements run throughout This Crazy Life; solid song-writing and great performance.
Eleven Hundred Springs was founded by Steve Berg (bass) and Matt Hillyer (Lead Guitar/Vocals). Playing the fiddle is the incomparable Jordan W. Hendrix. Burton Lee makes the pedal steel guitar cry in true country fashion and Brian Ferguson, a featured drum set educator for Vic Firth drumsticks, rounds out the line up on the drums. In the tradition of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys all of these accomplished musicians’ talents are featured.
Matt & Steve also host their own radio show in DFW – The Country Jam Radio Show, every Wednesday night on KHYI 95.3 The Range. With a fan base from coast to coast whose age ranges from eight to eighty, it’s easy to see why these boys have made a name for themselves as some of the best in the business.