Excitement is on the rise as the Dodge County Fair prepares to welcome the award-winners of the American of Country Music’s new group of the year Friday.
LANCO, a Nashville-based band, is made up of Brandon Lancaster (lead vocals), Eric Steedly (guitar), Candler Baldwin (bass), Jared Hampton (keyboards) and Tripp Howell (drums). The band’s name is short for Lancaster and Company.
In a phone interview, Howell said the band has a soft spot for small-town America.
“We’re five guys from small towns. Some of us worked on farms growing up; some of us played sports and some didn’t,” Howell said. “Much of our music is about shining the light on beautiful things about small towns that may get overlooked sometimes.”
The group released its No. 1 debut album “Hallelujah Nights” on Arista Records in 2018. Its second single, “Greatest Love Story,” was a multi-week chart topper that went double platinum.
“The romantic themes in ‘Greatest Love Story’ and ‘Born to Love You’ have been great for us,” Howell said.
He added that the group’s live show is energetic, and a good mix of country and rock.
“We’ve been influenced by the Killers, Tom Petty and Coldplay, but we also love country music like Eric Church and George Strait,” Howell said. “You name it, we’ve probably listened to it and added an element of it to our show.”
The band is currently working on its second album and released its new single “Rival” in spring. Penned by Lancaster and Howell and produced by Jay Joyce, the song is a favorite of fans at their live shows and has become somewhat of an underdog anthem.
In addition to its own music, the band plays covers at its concerts.
“If we like a song and it has a message we believe in, we try to make it our own and play it because there are a lot of good songs out there that are just fun to play and party to,” Howell said.
He said LANCO’s success is built on telling stories through song and truly enjoying the band’s work.
“The past four months have been crazy,” Howell said. “We get on the bus and wake up somewhere. We know we’re going to play a show and it’ll be awesome.
“It’s really freaking cool to have our dream come true and believe me, we’re not taking any of it for granted. If anything, we’re just trying to build it bigger. We’re excited to play and for everyone to hear our music.”
Fans can connect with LANCO on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.