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Glory, Glory, Gloriana?

The New Now

Growing up, I was taught that honesty is the best policy. I bring that lesson to this blog. Several weeks ago it was suggested that I spotlight a new Nashville act called Gloriana. A former co-worker promoting the band emailed a cohort about the act. Eventually the email landed in my inbox. I'm all for helping out former co-workers, but there was one small problem. I took a look at the band's video clip for the single "Wild At Heart" and I didn't like it. Check it out below.

To me, that clip seems overly slick. It almost looks like a TV commercial or some sitcom version of what a new country band should sound and look like, and the members of the band are all so pretty. I like attractive people as much as anyone else, but that clip looks artificial to me. The song itself is OK, but nothing spectacular. It reminds me a bit of John Mellencamp's 1982 hit "Jack And Diane," but it too seems too slick and overproduced.

I filed Gloriana away in my mind, but then the band appeared on my radar again when I discovered that that they were opening for Taylor Swift at Staples Center along with former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler. I was assigned to review the Swift show for another publication, but I made a point of getting to the show early enough to give Gloriana another chance. Unfortunately, due to the notoriously bad Los Angeles traffic, I only caught a few songs, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I did see. I won't go so far as to proclaim them my new favorite band, but I realized at Staples Center that they are a real band with real talent and I shouldn't hate them just because they're all so beautiful and have an ultra-slick video clip.

Brothers Tom and Mike Gossin, Nashville transplants who originally honed their chops in the clubs of North Carolina, founded Gloriana. The duo first enlisted Rachel Reinert to add a female voice to their harmonies, and later rounded out with quartet with Cheyenne Kimball, who added another voice to their distinctive harmonies and mandolin that gave their music a more earthy feel.

At Staples Center the quartet reminded me a bit of Fleetwood Mac, probably because of that male-female dynamic, the Dixie Chicks, and the aforementioned Mr. Mellencamp. Yet the thing that struck me most about seeing Gloriana in the flesh was that they were a real band, not some casting-call creation put together for the sole purpose of making music videos. Don't get me wrong; this isn't some hip alt-country act. It's an ultra-commercial band designed for mainstream success. Still, I think their video for "Wild At Heart" actually does them a disservice. Check out this fan-shot clip of the band and let me know which Gloriana you prefer, the video creation or the live, performing musicians.

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