Heartland's fame has been a long time coming. The newest country sensation to take the South by storm, the six man band - consisting of frontman Jason Albert, drummer Todd Anderson, lead guitarist Mike Myerson, bassist Keith West, multi-instrumentalist Chuck Crawford, and Craig Anderson on acoustic guitar - has been playing together since 1997.

Influenced by classic American artists like Alabama, Johnny Cash, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band played its fist major gig at the 1997 June Jam, one of the nation's largest country music festivals. Motivated by this taste of fame, Heartland began touring clubs and honky-tonks nationwide to refine their clean, clear country-rock sound. Though their big break didn't occur until almost a decade later, the band remained unfazed. Many of them friends since elementary school, the group was happy just to be together doing what they enjoy. In 2006, Heartland signed a one-album deal with Nashville-based independent label Lofton Creek Records (Drew Davis Band, Mark Chesnutt), releasing their debut album I Loved Her First that same year. Selling a respectable 360,000 copies in the US and charting at #3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, the record marked the beginning of Heartland's rise to stardom. Their first single off the album, I Loved Her First, rose to the #1 position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs index.

After leaving Lofton Creek Records in 2007 for Texas-based startup Country Thunder Records, Heartland has been touring nationwide, and released singles from I Loved Her First on Itunes in late 2007. Though no confirmation has yet been made about their next record, you can bet to see a new album in the near future, because these guys have been playing together far too long to quit just when things are gettin' started.

From Lastfm:

There are three artists with the name HEARTLAND: 1) HEARTLAND is a AOR band formed by former VIRGINIA WOLF vocalist Chris Ousey. HEARTLAND's debut was released in March of 1991 on A&M however by this time the popularity of the AOR / Melodic Rock scene was on the wane. A second album was released in 1995 through German label Long Island, which was ostensibly a collection of demo recordings. Escape Music, signed HEARTLAND up for a third album, 'III', issued in 1996.

Read more about Heartland on Last.fm.

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From Wikipedia:

Heartland is an American country music band from Huntsville, Alabama. It is composed of Jason Albert (lead vocals), Craig Anderson (rhythm guitar), Todd Anderson (drums), Chuck Crawford (fiddle, background vocals), Mike Myerson (lead guitar), and Keith West (bass guitar, background vocals). Signed to Lofton Creek Records in 2006, the band topped the country charts that year with its debut single "I Loved Her First", also the title track to its debut album. After two followup singles both missed top 40, the band exited the label, releasing two more unsuccessful singles on the Country Thunder label.

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