Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand’s unique style, humor, and their diversity of instruments fill the void that existed in the country music world. “Dream Big”, “Be the One”, and other singles have taken the industry by surprise, in a good way. The five band members hail from Salt Lake City, and have held fast to their roots, despite pressures from the outside. Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand have been consistent in their work ethic and keeping the creative juices flowing. They now have set sail on a journey of presenting their down-home bluegrass, knee-slappin’, funky-dancin’ music to the world.
Ryan Shupe, the founder and front man of the group, has been playing the violin since he was a little kid. Fiddle-playing is in the blood, and goes back 5 generations! He was one of the PeeWee Pickers, a group of young kids who performed their skills. He played in bands through high school, and in college, until the RubberBand finally emerged as a cohesive bunch of talented and committed musicians.
Craig Miner, the banjo player, began his pickin’ days on a ukelele that he found at a garage sale. He has expanded his instrumental collection to banjo, guitar, mandolin and bouzouki. Yes, bouzouki. Craig knew Ryan Shupe long before he became a member of the RubberBand, when he was playing with groups like the Salt Licks and Fire On The Mountain.
Bart Olson, drummer, played with his family’s band, the Olson Family Fiddlers, when he was a young boy. Then, he found his passion for percussion took him into new genres of music. Bart met Ryan after he had played in many bands.
Roger Archibald, guitarist, has played since he was only eleven years old. He was in a band, String Fever, with Ryan Shupe’s sister and brother. Roger knew the same people as the rest of the RubberBand, and eventually found his place with the guys.
Ryan Tilby, bassist, rejoined the RubberBand in 2006 after leaving for Utah State University. He had played banjo for the band, but now brings the low tones on his bass.
In 2005, Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand released “Dream Big”, as a single that was used on NBC’s “Three Wishes”. They parted with their label, Capitol Records, and now are signed with Montage Music Group. Their newest album, “Last Man Standing” was released 2008.
Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand’s music ranges from country to rock to surprisingly romantic. They can only remain contemplative for a track or two, then they jump back into their fun and upbeat comfort zone.
Ryan Shupe said, “I want us to have songs that are great and mean something to people.” Just ask the fans, who will tell you that their songs really do mean something.
“Brand New Shoes”, their latest album, is now available on iTunes.