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Probably the best trait any country group or artist can have is that of durability. Whether that means adapting to a new audience or a new sound having the ability to change without losing touch with the people who keep playing your music is important. Since the group Lonestar first hit the various country venues around the country in 1993 it has seen many changes. Many of these changes, at least to group member Dean Sams, are only transitions and not endings. For Lonestar, the future is, indeed, now.

In the early '90s the band Lonestar first formed on the combined talents of Dean Sams, Michael Britt, Keech Rainwater and Richie McDonald. The group gave the country community such hits as, "Amazed", " My Front Porch Looking In", "What About Now", and "No News". Consistently Lonestar made great music. Changes not of their making, though, did leave the group with some important decisions to make.

In 2007, Lonestar faced several important challenges. First, the band's longtime recording contract with BNA Records ended. With that the label decided not to pursue a new contract with the group, which left them without a major contract for the first time in 12 years. Says guitarist Michael Britt, "With the current state of the recording industry in flux at the moment, it's actually a good time to step back and explore other options in getting our music to our fans. We've established ourselves as a proven sales and touring act with over 15 years of experience so we have a few other options open that beginning acts may not have."

Also in 2007, while the group looked at other options Richie McDonald announced that he would be leaving the band to pursue other musical interests. This left the remaining members of Lonestar to decide whether to end it or try to keep Lonestar moving forward. Keech, Dean, and Michael were united in their goal of keeping Lonestar together and continuing to work together to make new music. With this in mind, they listened to tons of CDs, web sound samples, burned up telephone lines with phone calls and basically brainstormed for ideas for their lead vocalist replacement. The result of this extensive search for the right front man fit led to a bar called "Cowboys" in Kennesaw, GA, on the outskirts of Atlanta. After a couple of phone calls and a trip to Nashville to audition with the band in front of management and booking agents, the decision was made to make Cody Collins the new lead singer of Lonestar.

Richie McDonald was already committed to working tour dates through November 7, 2007, Lonestar continued touring with Richie throughout the Summer of '07 and into early Fall. On September 13 at a showcase for media and the Nashville record industry the latest version of Lonestar was unveiled at a club in Nashville, TN. The showcase was a great success as reviews of the show circulated around the internet and around town. Several longtime Lonestar fans were there, who, while admitting it was different not seeing Richie onstage, were pleasantly surprised by Cody's voice and his energy and enthusiasm.

While Lonestar fans were waiting to hear who the new singer was this new edition of Lonestar was recording a Christmas CD in the summer of 2007. With the help of their Coming Home producer Justin Niebank, they were for the first time co-producing a record on their own, spending countless hours arranging, recording, editing, playing and singing in Dean's state-of-the-art home studio in Franklin, TN. The basic tracks were recorded at The Tracking Room in Nashville. The arrangements, overdubs, vocals, and editing were done at Dean's studio during breaks in the band's extremely busy summer tour schedule. Drummer Keech Rainwater says, "This is where the new lineup really came together. We were tossing around ideas and using the ones that stuck... we were like a garage band, but with really great gear!".

Says Dean Sams, "It was a great experience. We really feel like a band again!"

Anyone who sees Lonestar perform knows that is a bit of an understatement because these guys play like they've been working together for years. Look for Lonestar at a several venues throughout the country by checking out either their website, http://www.lonestarnow.com or their MySpace site at http://www.myspace.com/lonestar. Find out more about them through our conversation on the CyberCountry Vodcast.