The rock band Red Wanting Blue were traveling from Salt Lake City to Denver, through a Wyoming snowstorm, while they were on tour in 2013 when they went through a life-threatening experience. The band’s tour bus, a converted mobile home, was nearly hit by a jackknifed tractor-trailer.
“The truck came to a halt just before getting to us,” said Red Wanting Blue frontman Scott Terry.
“There was debris everywhere and we sat in awe for a moment before we maneuvered around the wreckage and slowly made our way down the mountain. We pulled off at the first truck stop we saw – it happened to be named ‘Little America.’”
That series of events spawned the title of the band’s tenth album, Little America, which was released on July 1 with Fanatic Records.
The album debuted at number three on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and number 31 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
On it, Terry gets more autobiographical than he has in the past as the band, which is originally from Ohio, takes Middle America sound and projects onto the big city.
“I don’t know how to write about stuff that I haven’t personally experienced,” Terry said. “For me, where I’m at as a songwriter is that I’m an autobiographical writer. I try to write about what I know. It’s the only story that I know all of the ins and outs of.”
Little America doesn’t only represent the near-death experience Red Wanting Blue went through in 2013, but is also reflective of a Terry’s romantic, but somewhat conflicted view of traveling the country.
For example, the song “Leaving New York” recounts Terry’s crestfallen experience of having to leave his current home base and his significant other to hit the road for yet another tour (Red Wanting Blue have been playing more than 200 shows a year for more than a decade now).
“When I first started this band nothing seemed more romantic to me than getting to run around the country with your best friends who happen to be your band,” Terry said.
“My modern day American Dream was getting to see the world through the eyes of a rock and roll band…and eventually we became a road band…then at some point it clicked to us that we live on the road and we write about being on the road, because that’s all we really know anymore.”
Red Wanting Blue, which consists of Mark McCullough on bass, Greg Rahm and Eric Hall on guitar and Dean Anschutz on drums and percussion, has been on the “Sounds Like Summer” to tour promote the album since it debuted.
They’re coming to The Hamilton in Washington, D.C. this Saturday, Aug. 23. The Alternate Routes is their opening act. Terry said that Red Wanting Blue has never been more collaborative with another band they’ve toured with.
“It’s like getting a chance to go play with your buddies, you know,” Terry said. “It’s what we always hoped for. In our line of work when you do meet people that you click with and that you’re friends with you get to spend time together. But it’s nothing like a tour where you all are going through everything together on the road.”
• For more information about Red Wanting Blue, visit redwantingblue.com.