Emerson Drive pulls into Shippensburg tonight

April 19, 2007|by JULIE E. GREENE

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Four years after winning the Academy of Country Music's award for top new vocal duo or group, Emerson Drive appears back on track with a nomination for top vocal group of the year at the May 15 awards show.

In between the group hit a bumpy road when it lost its deal with the DreamWorks Nashville label as part of a corporate restructuring.

Looking back now, lead singer Brad Mates said the change in labels was a blessing in disguise for him and his five bandmates.

The great part of being with the independent label Midas Records Nashville is that all eyes and ears are focused on the band, Mates said during a recent phone interview.


"We're the flagship artist for this label," he said.

Music lovers can judge for themselves how well Emerson Drive is doing when they pull into Shippensburg for a concert tonight at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University.

The group's latest album, "Countrified," released in September, features "Moments," a song that has hit as high as 13 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and remains on that chart in its 17th week.

The band also has had the thrill of performing and recording with Charlie Daniels, who was on the Luhrs stage in April 2006.

Emerson Drive recorded Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia," with Daniels, for "Countrified." The song is one the band has performed in its live act for years and is expected to perform tonight along with their own current songs and past hits.

The band was signed to come to Shippensburg after members of the university's Activities Program Board heard Emerson Drive perform in Lancaster, Pa., last fall, said Wes Yelley, 22, a senior and board president.

The board wanted to bring a country act to the school and liked that Emerson Drive also has "a rock tinge to them," Yelley said. "Plus, they busted into Pink Floyd during the middle of their set. Anyone who can bust into Pink Floyd is cool to me."

If you go ...

WHAT: Emerson Drive

WHEN: 9 p.m. today

WHERE: H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, Pa.

COST: $20; $10 for Shippensburg University students.

MORE: For tickets, call 717-477-7469 or go to

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