While listening to my pal, Storme Warren on The Big 615, I heard him interviewing a group of men called The Frontmen on his show. And while their voices sounded familiar, I was unsure of who they were.
It turns out that The Frontmen are a new country music trio, and I can honestly say that their harmony is next level. They consist of Richie McDonald, formerly of Lonestar (Amazed, “I’m Already There,” “Mr. Mom,” “My Front Porch Looking In”); Tim Rushlow, formerly of Little Texas (“God Blessed Texas,” “What Might Have Been,” “My Love”); and Larry Stewart of Restless Heart, (“Why Does It Have to Be Wrong or Right,” “When She Cries,” “The Bluest Eyes in Texas,” “I’ll Still Be Loving You.”)
I vividly remember the Restless Heart songs “Why Does It Have to Be Wrong or Right,” and “When She Cries” from my younger years which were played on both country and pop stations back in the day. And everyone knows Little Texas’s “God Blessed Texas.” But it was Lonestar’s “Amazed” that initially gave me an inkling about how the lyrics of a country music song could be life-changing. I’ll never forget the first time I heard that song.
I spoke with Larry Stewart regarding this remarkable new supergroup and how they came to be. Admittedly, I was a bit sad that they left their former bands, but how they got together was organic and when you hear them sing together, you know it was meant to be.
Over 15 years ago. Stewart and McDonald got together in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a fundraiser. It was a writers' round with some of the best country writers/performers in the business.
McDonald said thinking aloud, “What if we took three lead singers of three different bands and called it something like The Frontmen.”
Stewart replied, “Are you kidding? I love this.”
It was then they started doing some acoustic shows and private events in the off-season from touring with their bands. Originally, they had thought of recruiting Randy Owen, but he decided to get his band Alabama back together, so he was not available. They approached Tim Rushlow, and he had some contact with Navy Entertainment. The trio performed acoustically for years overseas for the US troops before they officially became a band.
Stewart confirmed, “It was really kind of magical to be able to get the three of us on stage and listen to those young people sing our songs back to us and to be able to sing for an hour and a half and literally play number one hits to them one right after another.”
But it was COVID that officially brought the three men together. “We were sitting around twiddling our thumbs. We didn’t know if we were ever going to go to work again.”
When the opportunity presented itself, they knew that they would be foolish not to be all in with their newly formed trio. And while the pandemic ruined many things, it was a blessing for The Frontmen.
As I have interviewed so many people and intently studied the history of music, I wondered how three men who were all used to being the lead singer could regularly sing backup.
“We share the lead. We have no ego. It’s weird, I know. It's really been an amazing opportunity and experience with those guys,” Stewart advised.
In November of 2023, the trio released their first EP, Familiar Faces. The EP consists of six songs, three of their popular hits and three original songs. Stewarts sings lead on his song “I’ll Still Be Loving You” and their original release, “I Need You.” McDonald sings lead on “Amazed” and their new “Left Their Mark” which he wrote. Rushlow sings lead on “God Blessed Texas” and “It was Always You,” a song that he recently penned.
Still, with all the accolades, I wondered, “How do they sound together, with a different person singing lead each time?”
The short answer is astonishing. It’s like a family band. The way that they blend their voices so effortlessly is remarkable considering that they are a relatively newly formed group.
“To have this opportunity to share brand new music with music fans all over the world is just amazing,” added Stewart. “Tim, Richie, and I have created a bond in music that we can’t wait to share with country music fans of all ages. These new songs mean a lot to us, and I hope fans everywhere enjoy hearing them as much as we do singing them.”
And while supergroups have been a thing for many years, in my opinion, only in country music could you take three extraordinarily talented men and have them equally share the spotlight while singing beloved songs from their past while creating new tunes that universally appeal to everyone.
I don’t believe for one second that The Frontmen are a flash in the pan, a by-product of COVID that will soon be over. Once you hear them, their sound, their music, you too, will be amazed, as I was. You will want to keep up with everything they do! Check out Familiar Faces today.
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