The New Relics
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The New Relics

Morgantown, West Virginia, United States | INDIE

Morgantown, West Virginia, United States | INDIE
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May 26--One listen to The New Relics' latest single "Dixie Queen" makes clear the band's new direction. A conversation with the quintet at the studio where that record was born makes equally clear the path that's led the group to carve out a place for itself in the world of country music.

The vibe is relaxed at Blues Alley Records, in Osage. The independent record label that The New Relics (TNR) call home is also the recording studio where the band lays down tracks and produces music videos. Parked out front is the group's tour bus, a custom job with an interior that members of the group and Blues Alley president Harry Swiger installed themselves in sections.

Inside, the guys laugh a lot at each other's jokes; and while founding members Josh Swiger (bass, vocals), Michael Arbogast (vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo) and Bryan Martin (drums, vocals) speak up more than newcomers Marshall Lowry (electric guitar, lap steel, mandolin, banjo) and Zach Fanok (fiddle, mandolin, guitar), everyone opens up about how TNR's latest incarnation feels right.

For Josh Swiger, the new lineup and the resulting songs are a breath of fresh air.

"I've been having more fun in the last year than I've had in probably the last three or four years," he said. "Sometimes you get caught in the doldrums. You're doing a lot, but you're just spinning. ... For the last year, there's been a lot of enthu- siasm. Everyone is on the same page. You see it in the band, and you see it in the 1/8reaction from the3/8 crowd."

For Lowry, joining the band marks a fresh start.

He met the group six years ago when he recorded at Blues Alley for a different project and has been a fan of TNR's music ever since. So, several months ago, when Harry Swiger -- who is also the group's manager -- approached him and told him the band had an opening, Lowry jumped at the opportunity.

"It's a relief for me," he said. "I had been doing so much of my own stuff, and everything I was trying to do was about to hit rock bottom. I knew that I could hold my own. I just needed a break like this."

This is the first time, he added, that he's been able to use the skills he learned growing up.

"I was raised with bluegrass and chicken pickin' and Sagebrush Round-Up, you know, the whole nine yards. When I joined the group and heard all these songs, I heard the stuff I wanted to put in there, and I got to put it there. It just really kicked it country."

Fanok, who started out as a session player for the band, also felt TNR gave him a new outlet for his background in music. He picked up the fiddle at 9, and when it came time to go to college, he studied bluegrass at East Tennessee State University, where Kenny Chesney got his start.

Arbogast liked what he heard when he happened upon Fanok at a Wednesday night jam session at Morgantown Brewing Company. The two struck up a conversation and "everything just kind of fell in my lap," Fanok said.

It was at a joint birthday party for Josh Swiger and Arbogast, when Arbogast said members realized they had "something special."

And with a summer tour set to kick off in Washington, D.C., next weekend, a live concert DVD/CD to be released in June and a new free iPhone/iPad app available at iTunes, plenty of audiences will have a chance to check out the group's newfound chemistry and sound. Even Nashville has taken note, according to Arbogast, who said the group has "gotten quite a bit of interest from industry bigwigs."

"We're working very closely with a few to secure our position as 'up-andcoming artists to look out for,' " he said in an email.

Ten years in, with a Billboard-charting single and three of its four founding members still around, Martin feels the group is established enough that those bigwigs will seriously consider giving TNR a shot. - Charleston Daily Mail


Hailing from Morgantown, W.Va., the New Relics have worked from the ground up to prove their worth.

A self-proclaimed "hodgepodge of rock, country and bluegrass", the band has gained momentum with the 2010 album "Monongalia," earning a no. 54 spot on the Billboard Country Charts with its single "Beautiful."

"I actually wrote it on a bet," said Mike Arbogast, lead vocalist, referring to hit "Beautiful." "Bryan (Martin), drummer, and Josh (Swiger), bassist, told me to write a song with three chords – something simple and catchy."

Martin then suggested the hook of ‘What are you doing when you're not out being beautiful?' "It all came together from there," according to Arbogast.

"We sent a whole bunch of tunes to some producers in Nashville. They loved it, and then the DJ's started loving it, and it all snowballed from there," Arbogast said.

Nearly an unheard of feat, charting as an indie group, The New Relics have never shied away from a challenge in their 11 year-rise.

Modeling themselves after the Zac Brown Band, they run their own label, production studio and promotions.

"Our fans are very loyal, and are starting to bring their friends back to see us" Arbogast said. "We're starting to see that on a regional level and it's really cool to see that progression. That's definitely a difference between (the) country and rock (scenes)."

The four-man band built of Morgantown natives, likes to keep things lively during its shows as each member is a multi-instrumentalist.

Constantly switching between guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin and an organized mess of other instruments, they've learned to put full faith in their bandmates and trust each other's every move.

"These guys are my best friends," Arbogast said. "We're fighting scratch, tooth and nail to live this dream. But if we suddenly said we're not going to do this any more, we'd still play locally because we are so close."

Apart from building friendships, they're also building an ever-growing fanbase.

The band played at Chic-N-Bones Thursday and earned the applause of nearly 350 in attendance.

It also landed a new fan in senior sports management major Jared Lay.

"Going in I wasn't sure what to expect," Lay said. "I'm a big fan of country music, but you never know what you're going to get from a local band. I got into it and the crowd did, as well."

Coming up for The New Relics is a trip to the Country Music Seminar in Nashville, Tenn., in March.

The band also plans to release its new single "Dixie Queen" sometime next week.

"Hopefully we'll be hearing some stuff on the radio by the end of February and riding that into the spring," Arbogast said. "We're doing it again."

- WVU Daily Atheneaum


This CD’s title, Monongalia, refers to the West Virginia county wherein Morgantown lies and where these four country rockers plant their feet and where they’ve collectively been doing this thing for nigh on to five years. In The New Relics’ self-created songs, the band has come up with swatches of catchiness, some stomping fun, a few “folky” flavors and, sometimes, even sorrowful intensity.

Band leader bassist Josh Swiger points out that he, guitarists Jim Bidwell and Mike Arbogast, and drummer Brian Martin all have roots in country music, citing group influences such as The Rolling Stones, John Mellancamp and Pat Green, among others.

They’ve come up with three earlier CDs while collecting multiple degrees from West Virginia University in computer science, business, education and music. As for being “relics,” Swiger says that basically they’re having fun with the oxymoronic wordplay since none of them is much above 30. And regarding the words they wrote for the tunes, you won’t find them in the liner notes, but they are at the band’s Web site, thenewrelics.com.

These fellas seem to be on the way to a kind of success, as this CD debuted as No. 59 on the Billboard Country Indicator Chart in November. - Pittsburgh Magazine Jan 2010


Morgantown, WV-

The New Relics a nationally touring rock and alt-country band based out of Morgantown, WV have recently earned an endorsement deal from Community Loudspeakers & Pro Audio.

Community is one of the largest manufacturers of professional audio products and sound systems. Their systems are installed in some of the world’s best-known venues, NFL stadiums, pro sports arenas and Olympic venues.

Community has also developed systems for touring bands and professional musicians alike.

The New Relics will be working with Community and supporting their S-Series (Sonus) line of products. Community was looking for a great touring professional band that could support their new line of products and showcase those products to other professionals.

“We felt The New Relics were a great fit for this product line. Our system will greatly assist the band in their performance and it will give the public a chance to hear first hand what our systems at Community are capable of doing. Community is thrilled that the New Relics chose to use our S-Series product range for their PA system“ says Steve Goodwin, Community Marketing Services

This is the first major endorsement deal for The New Relics. The band is excited about working with Community. “An endorsement deal like this is great for a band of our capability. Community is one of the best manufacturers of pro audio in the world. We look forward to working with and supporting their products.” Says bassist for The New Relics Josh Swiger

The New Relics has been compared to that of Pat McGee, John Mayer, Pat Green and Train. They are a combination of great rock and alt-country. “Some people say we sit on the fence and play rock and country, but with those styles mixing so much lately you really have to hear us live to get a good taste of what we are about. “ says Swiger

The New Relics CD is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and cdbaby.com. For more information on the band, visit www.thenewrelics.com or www.myspace.com/thenewrelics

- Dominion Post


The state of West Virginia has produced the athletes Jerry West and Sam Huff, comedians Don Knotts and Soupy Sales, writer Pearl Buck and inventor Booker T. Washington.

As far as pop music is concerned, however, John Denver's "Country Roads" led only Kathy Mattea out of the state to bigger and better things. The New Relics, a band from Morgantown, might be on the verge of changing that. They play the Hard Rock Cafe at Station Square tonight.

Formed fewer than three years ago, the group has slowly expanded its fan base, having played dates from Washington, D.C., to Nashville, Tenn.

"I write songs that I hope will strike a chord, whether it's a happy chord or a melancholy chord," says lead singer and guitarist Mike Arbogast.

The music is similarly inviting, upbeat, mellow rock that has been compared to the likes of Sister Hazel, Train and Dave Matthews. Formed as a quintet, the band's current lineup includes Arbogast, guitarist Jonathan Schooley, bass and keyboard player Josh Swiger, and Bryan Martin on drums.

"The music has changed pretty drastically," says Arbogast, noting the New Relics originally had more of a jam band tone because of the presence of a violinist and pianist. Now, Arbogast says, Swiger and Martin bring more a of country flavor to the mix, while Schooley brings a feel for "old school" rock.

The band got a break last year when "Evaporating," a song from its current album "Hard Road," was placed on the Learning Channel's "A Dating Story."

While Arbogast is happy with band's progress, there is still a bit of stigma that comes from being from West Virginia. Occasionally someone will make a smart remark about the group actually wearing shoes, or ask why they aren't wearing overalls. Some folks even ask if West Virginia is near Richmond, Va., not realizing that it is a state.

But as long as people are listening, Arbogast doesn't mind.

"If we play go out and play for four hours at a club, we're going to at least be able to reach one or two people," he says. "Sometimes you just have to accept all the other stuff and concentrate on the music. That's the only way you are going to win people over."

Tickets for the 10 p.m. show at the Hard Rock are $5. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The Morgantown-based acoustic rack band The New Relics was featured in a recent Wekkend! edition. Things continue to look up for the talented group; it is about to gain national television exposure. Included on the band's new summer release is "Evaporating" which has been chosen as background music for an episode of The Learning Channel's (TLC) weekday reality series "A Dating Story".

Scheduled to air in late August or early September the episode will feature WVU graduate Tim Gerhart, who is currently working with Blues Alley Video Production in Philadelphia, a subsidiary of Blues Alley Records in Morgantown, The state-of-the-art recording studio signed the featured group and continues to manage its work.

"Evaporating" was written by The New Relics frontman and Mo-town native Michael Arbogast. "I'm very proud of the way things are going right now," said Arbogast. "The new album is fantastic. The group is tighter and more focused than ever, and wonderful things keep happening to us"

He said the song is perfect for "A Dating Story." "It's this beautiful sexy, moving song that really gets under your skin," added Arbogast.

Arbogast performs guitar and vocals for the group, which mixes, pop, rock, country, and folk to create a unique sound. Joining Arbogast are Jonathan Schooley on lead guitar, mandolin and harmonica; Bryan Martin on drums and percussion; and Josh Swiger on bass guitar, who also serves as the group's producer.

The New Relics, who previously released "Casting Stones" have headlined throughout WV, PA, OH, and MD, The group has also performed with well-known touring and recording artists including 311, The Pat McGee Band, Graham Colton, Sawyer Brown, Blessid Union of Souls, The Clarks, Seven Nations, Shaking Tree, and The Recipe.

The new album, currently untitled, features 11 new tunes. The record will be available al local music stores as well as CDBaby.com and Amazon.com - Exponent-Telegram


Cross the Mon River at Star City, heading West on West Virginia 7. Hang the second left to downtown Osage, once a bustling coal camp, now just a few old company houses and two bars. Oh, did I mention it’s the home of Blues Alley Records, the label of The New Relics. Talk to any of their fans and they’ll tell you their the “best unsigned” band in America — maybe the world.

OK, that may be a bit over the top, but they certainly deserve this years “Best of West Virginia” selection by you, the Graffiti readers.

But, their fans know that this set is as vibrant and original as it gets. Since their first recording, Casting Stones, crashed into the pond, the ripples are spreading. It was cemented with Live at the Red Dog, a 2005 jam that coincided with Bridge Day.

The New Relics are Mike Arbogast (acoustic guitars/vocals), Jonathan Schooley (electric guitars/mandolin/vocals), Josh Swiger (bass/keyboards) and Bryan Martin (drums/percussion). They are home-grown talent that is creating a serious buzz.

The music can be eclectic, from alt/country to Top 40 pop. The musicianship is strong, as is the songwriting. Hard driving rock, soft and romantic anthems of angst, even some social consciousness thrown in for good measure. The guitars are fluid, the bass line strong and the percussion commanding. The vocals (they all contribute) are gutsy with range and depth. This is a good band.

With three discs under their collective belts (a fourth due out in November) and show dates all over the country, these guys are building a solid fan base anchored to some great music.

Check out their Web site, www.thenewrelics.com, for show dates and a heads up on their next CD. - Graffiti Magazine


One is an engineer, two are teachers and one is working on his MBA — The New Relics aren’t hesitant to use their brains for launching their band.

They manage themselves and continue to find ways to expand their already large fanbase, even without the help of a label.

The four-piece band from Morgantown has been together for six years. Members are touting the best lineup they have ever had as they release their newest offering. They kick it off with a CD release party at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19 at the West Virginia University Erikson Alumni Center.

The band has made a name for itself by its persistence in playing live, said Joshua Swiger, bass player and band producer. It also helps that they have a tour bus.

“We play and play and play,” Swiger said. “... We play 150 shows a year — sometimes four nights a week. We play everywhere. It’s Wheeling to Bluefield, Martinsburg, Huntington — all the major cities in West Virginia. We’ve hit all them.”

The acoustic rock band with a lot of energy tags its appeal to being able to cater to so many demographics.

“We play material that’s pop rock oriented,” Swiger said. “It’s the flavor of the ’70s or ’80s, but sometimes people don’t realize it’s original music. They think it’s a B-side of some band they know. Our music is safe, everyone can enjoy it from age 2 to 200. Everyone can relate to it. It’s not extreme one way or the other. It’s just solid rock with a good story, good music. It has interesting hooks.”

For them, every show is about gaining another New Relics fan and even spreading the word on sites like MySpace.com. They also play different places around the East Coast.

“It’s not about making money,” Swiger said. “It’s about fueling the fire. ... (It’s also about) repeat customers. We meet a lot of people who come to see us all the time, and we try to connect with them. ... We try to stay connected with as many people as we can and then it kind of cascades. We let people feel they are just as much as part of the show as we are.”

Their CD release party for their fourth album will be a chance for them to see again those people they haven’t seen in a while, Swiger said. It’s all ages and free to anyone. Tickets can be printed off on their Web site, but that is just for the headcount.

The night is bound to be like their live shows, he said, a lot of fun.

“You won’t go hear us and just kind of be sitting,” Swiger said. “We try to keep the crowd involved, and it really works. ... People just have a good time.” - Times West Virginia


At first glance when I saw this CD, I thought okay, just another country male group. Boy was I wrong. They have a stand-alone bluegrass sound that makes me remember the days of being in my dad's home town in West Virginia. There sound brings back memories of country roads, steel factories and hard working Americans.

While they did remind me a little of 'Rascal Flatts', they definitely mark their way on the country road. The way they go from a slow smoky sound to foot tapping driving music definitely makes you want to jump in your car, turn the radio up and drive. The vocals and wide array of instruments are a blend of modern rock, country and soul. Jim Bidwell on electric guitar makes his mark in this music. The vocals are strong and the musicians stand their own in each song they play.

‘The New Relics’ will make their mark on the music world, they have a new sound, and while it still is country I believe it’s what fans are looking for. It’s a far cry from the days of saw dust on the floor and mechanical bull’s but fans of old and young will enjoy the new age alternative country sound from this group. Their single from their latest cd 'Monogalia' set to release September 7th titled 'Beautiful' is just as the title says 'Beautiful'. My favorite on this CD though has to be 'Fast Lane' because it makes me want to 'hop in that hot rod and put that rag top down' and hit the open road.

For more about The New Relics or to buy their CD visit http://www.thenewrelics.com - www.musicnewsnashville.com


Somewhere the between the coal mines and steel mills, mountain streams and majestic rivers, where blue-collar meets corporate America, The New Relics have taken life around them and create what has been called “the perfect driving music”. The band blends the sounds of country, rock and Americana and created the sound of modern American music.

Their latest album Monongalia is more than a collection of songs, it is the essence, the soul, and the sound of The New Relics. Having spent years on the road, the band has found who they are and where they belong musically and personally. Big Cities and Fastlanes just don’t seem to sit with The New Relics, they are more about small towns and local watering holes. “Monongalia” tells a story about the people that surround the band, the towns they live in and the choices that they make everyday.

Influenced by the sounds of Pat Green, Jack Ingram, John Mellencamp, and Keith Urban, The New Relics deliver a sound that is more than country music. It’s a journey about great songs. Music that makes you smile, laugh, reflect and believe in something more than yourself. Country music is more than hats and boots. Its taking care of your family, living life, good times and bad, and living to the fullest. Country, Rock, Americana, Bluegrass have all been used to describe the band. All are valid comparisons but not one can describe the band.

The music is radio friendly, with plenty of great melodies and choruses. Music that will make you drive all night, watch the morning sunrise and kiss your lover.
With good years of touring under their belt, meeting more friends and fans, The New Relics are just beginning. Yet for every journey that they take out of Monongalia, they always come home to the people that they love.



That Nashville Sound- What brought you to music in the first place?

Bryan Martin (drummer) - In early childhood, I watched a performance by a high school band and was drawn to the drums. Thought "I wanted to be that guy."

Mike Arbogast (lead vocals & guitars)- I always had country music playing in the house, went to yard sale with mom and bought a 3/4 size guitar and "played along" with the TV. I got a little older and really went out and learned to play.

Jim Bidwell (lead guitar)- I wanted to be part of the junior high jazz band and they needed a bass player. I had the teacher teach me.

Josh Swiger (bass) – My father was an old rock and roller, parental influence was a big part.

TNS- What’s the mission behind the music?

New Relics- The mission behind the music is to bring Morgantown and West Virginia into the spotlight, and to show that great music and musicians can be heard everywhere. We want to play feel good upbeat music that people can enjoy. We believe that the songs and themes have significant relevance in the daily lives of the listeners. Seeking personal truth and fulfillment through creative expression.

TNS- How would you describe your music?

NR- Our music has been described as fusion country, we even asked about that and people said it’s a combination of country, bluegrass, alt, and pop-country. We slide styles in and out of songs and incorporate different instruments into songs that you wouldn't expect to be there.

TNS- What might people be surprised to learn about you?

NR- We hold 7 college degrees between the 4 of us. We have heavy support from family and friends. We are not really big party animals- kinda mild- and would rather hang out and talk with fans and friends. Despite our over education on the bus we still talk about beer and girls.

TNS- What kind of music are you listening to? What's in your iPod?

Mike Arbogast - In the iPod - Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, John Meyer, Dave Matthews

Jim Bidwell - Best of Chess Records, Blues Breakers, Jay-Z

Bryan Martin - Paul Simon - Graceland, Levon Helm, Hayseed-Dixie

Josh Swiger - Miranda Lambert, Hanson, Jack Ingram,

TNS- If you had a crystal ball and looked forward five years, what do you see for yourself?

NR- We want to be successful touring musicians that can reach to a larger audience.

TNS- Nickname for your guitar or other instruments?

NR- Rooster - a really old telecaster, that we bought of a guy named "Rooster" and The Stick - an electric upright bass - http://thatnashvillesound.blogspot.com/2009/11/up-coming-new-nashville-new-relics-with.html


Despite being a small, rural state, West Virginia seems to consistently produce some of the most talented country music entertainers in America.

With renowned acts like Brad Paisley, Bill Withers and Little Jimmy Dickens calling the Mountain State home, musical talent seems to flow through this state like Natural Light flowing through a Mountaineer football tailgate participant.

One band (whose roots delve deep into the Morgantown landscape) attempting to get its name listed among the likes of Paisley, is The New Relics.

The New Relics have been performing in the Morgantown area since its inception.

However, the group has yet to reach critical and commercial acclaim in the rough and tumble Nashville music scene.

The group is hoping to change its fortunes with its latest release, "Monongalia."

With a title paying homage to their home county, "Monongalia," The New Relics attempt to bring its down-home country sound to mainstream audiences.

The final result is a pleasant country music effort.

Showcasing country sounds reminiscent of modern day acts like Pat Green and Keith Urban, The New Relics have thrown out all stops on this album – at least in regard to perfecting its sound – and it really shows.

One song I believe showcases The New Relics better than most is "Middle America."

Describing U.S. small towns as "four churches, three stoplights and a bar," The New Relics show signs of a group on the rise in the song.

With lyrics one would expect in a John Mellencamp album, the group really makes the song true to its title, utilizing an interesting choice of lyrics that conjure up images of small town life.

Another song that really seems to jump to the top on this album is "Shotgun," a simple country/southern rock anthem that takes into account the American tradition of long road trips with somebody you love.

"Shotgun" stands out to me the most as a possible breakout single for the group. With a catchy melody, great lyrics and an impressive concept, it is a song you should be hearing on the radio soon enough.

The New Relics seem to encompass every section of country music – from the slow, catchy ballad "Fast Lane," to the high-tempo "Shotgun" and everywhere in-between.

While the album has its flaws, – there are overused cliches throughout, and a few songs sound extremely similar to one another – "Monongalia" is an impressive effort for the local group.

A few more performances like this and who knows how successful The New Relics will be.

It’s just another success story based in the hills of "West By God Virginia." - The Daily Athenaeum


Morgantown-based country music group The New Relics have gained recognition and nationwide radio play with the release of its sophomore album "Monongalia."

The album is named after the band’s home county and was released in June 2009. It has attracted the attention of major players in the country music business.

"It’s not twangy, cowboy hats and boots country but it’s not glossy pop-country. I like to say that what we are doing is what The Eagles were doing in the ’70s and Mellencamp in the ’80s," said Josh Swiger, bass player for The New Relics. "We tend to fuse it all together, and you (the listeners) just get us."

The New Relics’ single "Beautiful" debuted on the Music Row Breakout Chart in its first week of release.

The new album also won a Music Row DisCovery Award, an award presented to impressive up-and-coming country music artists.

The band recently finished filming its first music video for the single "Beautiful," and it is scheduled to play on the Country Music Television and Great American Country channel in October.

With influences ranging from Dave Matthews Band to the Allman Brothers Band, the band’s new album has been described as bluegrass, alternative country and even rock, a sound that The New Relics likes to call "fusion country."

Lead singer Mike Arbogast, with drummer Bryan Martin, wrote most of the songs on "Monongalia."

Arbogast takes his inspiration from "just life in general" and claims growing up in Morgantown shines through the songs on the new album.

"Things happen to me, my family, my friends, the people I meet, and that’s where the stories come from" Arbogast said. "We are really proud of where we are from, and the album is a collection of tunes that reflect our lives here so we thought naming it ‘Monongalia’ was appropriate."

The band claims to have stuck to its signature sound but admits the new album brings some changes.

"Style-wise, our older material was everywhere; a little country, a little jam band, a little rock, and it never really worked," Swiger said. "On this album, we paid a lot more attention to detail and have produced a more cohesive sound."

The band has declared "Monongalia" its "crown jewel" and best work to date.

Arbogast added about the band’s newly developed sound, "Each song is still unique, but the album as a whole has a distinct theme and sound so it works more as an album rather than just a collection of tunes we wrote."

The band has worked hard on the album and has high hopes for it’s outcome.

"I think that good music reaches all people. We want to attract an audience that wants to have fun and enjoy music" Swiger said. "Good original music that can stand up to anything on the radio."

Currently signed with Morgantown label Blues Alley Records, The New Relics have started working with Nashville audio promoters Jack Pride and Jerry Duncan of Spinville Records.

Pride and Duncan have worked with artists like Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn and Alison Krauss.

The New Relics’ new album "Monongalia" is available on several Web sites, including iTunes, www.cdbaby.com and www.amazon.com. The album will also be sold nationwide at Best Buy before December. - The Daily Athenauem


Discography

Monongalia - Album 2009

Single "Pictures" - Radio Play AAA, AC, Country 2007
Single "Beautiful" Radio Play - Country,
Single "Real Love" Radio Play - Country,

KKOW Pittsburgh KS
KNAF Fredericksburg TX
KREK Bristow OK
KTJJ Farmington MO
KWOX Woodwards OK
WPPL Blue Ridge GA
WYZO Kalamazoo MI
WQSI Auburn AL
WBYZ Baxley GA
KBCR Steamboat Springs CO
WCJW Warsaw NY
KJAM Madison SD
KLQL Laverne MN
WMEV Marion VA
WTCM Traverse City MI
WUPY Ontonagon MI
WRSF Nags Head NC
KEAN Abilene TX
WTHI Terre Haute IN
WHKX Bluefield WV
WKKW Morgantown WV
WTCM Traverse City MI

Photos

Bio

Some of the best advice comes from country songs. Turn on your local country radio station, and you'll hear life lessons from men and women who have done it right, done it wrong, and put it all in a song.

For The New Relics, the best advice they ever heard was from a Brad Paisley song: "When you're living in a world that you don't understand, find a few good buddies and start a band."

With best friends by your side, how can you fail?

These five friends--Bryan Martin, Michael Arbogast, Josh Swiger and Marshall Lowry, Zach Fanok--have been living that vision for the past 11 years.

Based out of Morgantown, WV, The New Relics don't take the city's "small-town" atmosphere as a disadvantage to making it big; in fact, they embrace it. Singing about personal experiences--the ups and downs of life in rural North-Central West Virginia--the band speaks to the common person. They know that everyone has a story to be told, and it is their music that paints a picture for under-represented America.

Their feel-good brand of country music has struck a chord with audiences across the country, though you wouldn't know it to talk with the band. Instead, The New Relics have let their accolades speak for themselves.

Making it to the Music Row Breakout Charts in just one week after the release of their first single, "Beautiful," was only the first step.

For 14 weeks, "Beautiful" would be a mainstay on the Billboard Country Music Charts, ranking in near the top 50 throughout that duration. Being mentioned in the same breath with performers such as Taylor Swift, Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney, The New Relics also won the Music Row DISCovery award for best release. And it's only gotten better from there.

With their third single "Dixie Queen" currently being released, The New Relics have found their sing-alongs played not only at the bars, clubs and festivals they frequent, but also across the airwaves in nearly 30 states.

That success didn't happen overnight.

The fat cats of the country music industry aren't exactly searching for the next big thing in small-town pubs, so The New Relics are building their success from the ground up; the band has taken it upon themselves to keep close contact with their loyal supporters, who they consider friends rather than fans. They never turn down an opportunity to play a show, and have dipped into new markets as often as possible. Making waves in ten states along the east coast, the band has proved their relevance and is constantly searching for new opportunities.

The notion of inspiration can come to mind when learning about The New Relics. Using the musical styling and grassroots success of Zac Brown Band, Alabama, and fellow West Virginia native Brad Paisley, the band has been inspired to follow in their heroes' footsteps.

At the same time, they encourage budding musicians the meet to do just what Paisley taught them:

"Find a few good buddies and start a band."

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"BEST BAND" - Graffiti Magazine
"Best Unsigned Band" by WV Radio Corporation
"Best Live Act to See" by Graffiti Magazine.
Featured "The Life Lounge" KDKA - Pittsburgh
Featured Voice of America - Washington D.C.
Endorsed by Community Pro Audio
DISCovery Award - Music Row Magazine
BDS/Billboard Country Breakout Chart Top 60
Music Row Breakout Chart notice
Official Band of West Virginia University Alumni Association (187,000) members.
Video "Beautiful" on CMT/GAC

See more on the band and VIDEO at www.myspace.com/thenewrelics

Notables
“This West Virginia band adds an infectious enthusiasm to its poppy brand of rock, and guitarists Jim Bidwell and Mike Arbogast adeptly throw in some joyous six-string sparks throughout the rocking “Shotgun” and the cheery “Beautiful.” The New Relics’ lyrics incorporate the same free spirit, filled with images of weekends, fast cars and moments spent with a favorite girl. – COUNTRY WEEKLY MAGAZINE – Jessica Phillips
"The New Relics prove that great music will find masses” Aaron Scott – WPDX
“The songs on Monongalia reveal the group's musical influences in a way that made me feel instantly familiar with the music, while creating a whole new sound of their own.” Chris De Carlo – Pittsburgh, PA Veteran radio Personality
"The best kept secret in Pittsburgh" - Nightwire Magazine
"Their alt-country-pop-rock sound has something for everyone" - The Daily Athenaeum

Band Members