New lineup shines after hiatus
Rose Hill Drive has always been Boulder's little secret. While the band found critical acclaim after it's self-titled debut album, being hailed as one of the "10 New Artists to Watch" by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2007, RHD never made the jump to stardom as Incubus did a few years earlier. Then, after their sophomore effort, "Moon is the New Earth", RHD began to taste some commercial success as their hit song "Sneak Out" landed on the playlist for Guitar Hero 5 in 2009.
However, the bands three original members, brothers Jake and Daniel Sproul and drummer Nate "the foot" Barnes began to sour on the never ending comparisons to other bands. After touring the world, building a rabid following in and out of their home state...the band was at a crossroads.
"Sometimes when a change needs to happen, it's better to throw everything out the window and start from scratch", guitarist/vocalist Jake Sproul recently told The Daily Camera. "We all wanted to do the music, but it was becoming a burden."
Adding bassist Jimmy Stofer has clearly re-energized the band and has not only filled out their sound, but has allowed for more complex arrangements and greater freedom. That freedom was on full display during the band's two night run at The Fox over New Years Eve. Covering the entire "Elephant" album by the White Stripes, Rose Hill Drive made the album their own, often making the audience wonder if this was how the classic album was meant to sound.
The set of originals that preceded the "Elephant" set was dominated by songs not yet released. "Setting Sun" a signature statement that's sure to become a staple on classic rock radio stations after it's release, and "Mr. Right", a bluesy, guitar-driven song invoking the bands earlier releases opened the show and boldly let the legions of fans that braved the cold know their hometown heroes were back with a vengeance.
One can't help but think that Rose Hill Drive is about to explode. These supremely confident musicians are also displaying the maturity it will take to embrace and sustain the stardom that is surely to come their way in 2011. This band knows who they are...and if you don't already, you too will know soon enough.