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Lonestar Looking Ahead To Future With New Singer

Of the Oakland Press

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The country band Lonestar has disembarked from the “Mountains,” the album it released in 2006. Now it’s focusing on a future — and a very different one, according to drummer Keech Rainwater.

Lonestar will part ways with singer Richie McDonald in November. It’s already chosen his replacement; Rainwater says that “I can’t tell you who it is now,” with an announcement slated for later in the year.

But he can confirm that the group, which also includes Michael Britt and Dean Sams, plans to make some stylistic changes when it convenes with producer Justin Niebank to make its next album.

“It’s a chance for us to kind of get a new sound and go in a little bit of a different direction,” explains Rainwater, 44. “It’s time to start a new chapter and maybe sing more about relationships, like we did on ‘Lonely Grill’ and (the chart-topping hit) ‘Amazed.’

“We’re trying to come out with things that young record buyers, people who go out and buy CDs, will listen to. We don’t feel like we have to have songs about kids and family and being sort of over the hill. We had a song called ‘Class Reunion’ that was about going back to your 20-year high school reunion. I don’t think young kids can identify with that. So we want to find that new direction and new sound and rock out a little harder.”

Until then, Lonestar is on a lame duck tour with McDonald, which Rainwater says is “a little bit weird” — but there’s peace.

“We’re not fighting or anything like that,” he notes. “It’s like going to a party where your ex-wife shows up, too. You deal with it. We know Richie’s leaving. He knows he’s leaving. We’ve all got things going on, but the shows are still good.”

Lonestar performs at 8 p.m. Friday (July 13th) at Meadow Brook Music Festival, on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills. Tickets are $38.50 pavilion, $20 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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