One thing to know about Dallas’ Eli Young Band is there’s no Eli Young. And even though the group has been around for a decade — and has notched five Top 40 country chart hits — bassist Jon Jones says the lack of an actual namesake is still an issue.
“We will forever be explaining who Eli Young is,” says Jones, 30, who co-founded the group at the University of North Texas with singer-guitarist Mike Eli and guitarist James Young — Eli and Young, get it? — and drummer Chris Thompson.
“But so it goes. On a bad day, it gives us something to talk about that’s pretty easy. And we love that our fans will come defend us whenever someone gets it wrong.”
The EYB, meanwhile, has been on a right path since the 2008 release of its “Jet Black & Jealous,” its first national album and third overall. It debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard country albums chart and “Always the Love Songs” rose to No. 11 on the singles chart. And now with a new label and a new single, “Crazy Girl,” the EYB is only expecting bigger and better things as it plans to release a new EP and then its fourth album this year.
“ ‘Jet Black & Jealous’ was an incredibly important album for us,” Jones notes. “It introduced us to a ton of new fans and allowed us to go out and tour the whole country and start some relationships with radio stations and really gave us some legs. The next record will hopefully be the perfect next step for us.
“We’ve never been an ‘American Idol’ band where you’re on TV for a month and you’re famous. It’s always been slow steps for us, which I think is a great way to build a career. Hopefully that will give us longevity.
The Eli Young Band headlines the Jammin’ For Joseph & the MDA concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Annabelle Road, Jill Jack and Jeff Scott will also perform. Tickets are $20 and $30 with a $75 VIP seat that includes dinner and a pre-show reception. Proceeds go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in honor of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy sufferer Joseph Penrod. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.