The hardest working new band in country music is at it again. Actually, they never stopped. Forty5 South is building a stellar fan base the old-fashioned way, by playing 180 concerts through September in 2005 alone, and making fans one-at-a-time. Just before the non-stop road schedule of 2005 began, the band found time to complete their second in-studio album in Nashville, with a little help from a superstar of another genre.
It’s not every day that you hear the collective work of a country music band and a veteran rock artist, but Forty5 South deliver that and more on their album We’re Country So We Can. The new 12-track project, produced by Bret Michaels of Poison, is certain to catch the ear of traditional country and Top-40 country fans alike. The album hit stores April 26 of 2005.
“The title says it all,” says lead singer and band founder Ashley Bowers, “We are country so we can, and we are proud of it. This record is all about being confident in who you are, no matter where you come from.”
Bret Michaels, featured vocally on the bridge of the title-track, is proud to put his name alongside of Forty5 South. “They sent me not only one good song but an entire album of good songs. A few we even worked on together and I look forward to working with them again. These guys are great singers and songwriters who are on the edge of country.”
After giving the material a listen, Michaels became an immediate and genuine fan. He connected with the band and no one has looked back since. The collaborative effort with Bret Michaels came about as a realized dream for Forty5 South. All being fans of the rock super-group Poison, the band felt Bret would bring an amazing and unique dynamic to the final sound. Bowers, after numerous phone calls, connected with Michaels. According to Bowers, “Bret was one of the few guys that the band collectively listened to while growing up. He has always crossed the boundaries between rock and country.”
Originally from Jackson, TN, Forty5 South takes their band name from a road that runs through the middle of the West Tennessee town. The band was formed at a tiny little sports bar off Highway 45 South called Jimmy D’s. It was there at open-mic nights that band founder and lead vocalist Ashley Bowers originated the idea to start a band that eventually grew into Forty5 South. The debut album from Forty5 South, released in 2003, is titled Too Much, Too Fast, and features the singles “Back of My Truck” and “Jim Beam.”
Bowers wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 tracks on the record. When asked about the background of his 3 favorite cuts, Bowers muses, “‘We’re Country So We Can’ is a ‘fun time’ song that paints a perfect picture of everyone that’s proud to be from the country. I think a lot of people can relate. ‘A Mile Away’ is my favorite song on the album. It’s the most personal and reflects my hometown of Jackson, TN. It was inspired by feelings of missing home while out on the road. ‘Stuff I Grew Up On’ is a good description of me and my friend Bryan (Bryan Dinkins – co-writer) from when we were growing up. It details being teenagers and going through high school – chasin’ girls, drivin’ in our pick-up trucks, and wearing high-top shoes. That song really takes me back.”
Influenced heavily by both country and rock music, Forty5 South has the ability to tug at your heart strings, and in the next instant have you jammin’. Staying loyal to real country music, listeners can expect radio-friendly and well-written tunes on this record and the entire Forty5 South catalog.