Who are the strayhearts?
The Strayhearts' self-titled EP isn't just the group's first release as a band, it is the culmination of five years of struggles, resignations, and revival. What started out as frontman and sole songwriter, Mark Monaco's solo writing demo, slowly took shape into what is now a brand new group and brand new musical vision.
Drummer Shane Haberstroh, Guitarist Derek Badillo, and Bassist Matthew Kaden had long played with Monaco on his solo outings. However, when they discovered their long sought-after final puzzle piece in Fiddle Player Riley Hemphill, a whole new sound and direction was born. Mark recalls, "It was so far removed from the hard-driving electric country rock I had been known for that I decided I wanted to create this whole new band." And thus the Strayhearts were born. Featuring almost entirely acoustic instrumentation, they rely on acoustic guitars, fiddle, upright bass, and a strange contraption known as the Drum Box for the heavy rock backbeat. "We defy the term 'stripped down acoustic'" Shane insists. "It may be acoustic but it is not soft and mellow. It's every bit as heavy or heavier than any electric country music band!"
The Strayhearts EP features six new tracks and a whole host of guest artists including Bri Bagwell, Geoffrey Hill (Randy Rogers Band), Lloyd Maines, and Grammy-winning Producer Adam J. Odor.
In 2016, The Strayhearts have already begun making a name for themselves on the road including headlining The Hideout at Rodeo Houston for 2500 people and invitations to play with Country Music Royalty Billy Joe Shaver, Texas Music hero Cory Morrow, The Band of Heathens, Dirty River Boys and Blue Water Highway Band to name a few! The future looks bright and the band is looking forward to forging the road ahead.