Falling into Emerson Drive

By Rob Greenwell

At first glance, Emerson Drive seems to reek of the Backstreet Boys or N'Sync "boy band" model and you would be right. However, they are the hottest new group in country music these days, scoring two top hits, including "I Should Be Sleeping" and "Fall Into Me." They came to Coyote's on December 5.

To destroy the curse of the boy band tag, members of this group play their own instruments, and for that matter, they play them very well. It continually amazes me that such young people have the drive and determination to learn an instrument as well as some of the young musicians in the business. I also was impressed with the cohesiveness of Emerson Drive: it seemed like they had been playing together for a while. The crowd seemed to dig what they were doing, too. The only problem that I had was the two pop covers they did, Edwin McCain's "I'll Be," and one other whose title I don't remember but it's played on the pop radio stations all the time. While the band did and excellent job on these tunes, they didn't have a place in a country music show. However, I must commend too: they covered the Charlie Daniels classic "Devil Went Down To Georgia," which does own a place in any country music live show.

This country boy band should earn their place in the business for a long time. I expect that in time they will attempt to be a crossover group in the same light that many country artists are today. I will put a disclaimer on this Emerson Drive, though: don't go to their show if you want a traditional country show. Go only if you want to pay your hard-earned money to see a good group of musicians entertain you from start to finish.