Diamond Rio Embarks On New Musical Chapter With Two New Bandmates
The award-winning group shared a new song, “The Kick,” and the accompanying music video.
Diamond Rio; Photo by Robby Klein
Award-winning country group Diamond Rio is embarking on a new career chapter with the addition of two new bandmates.
On the heels of the release of their new song and video “The Kick,” Diamond Rio revealed that they reconfigured the band. The anxiously awaited track displays the group’s musical talent and marks a new beginning for their career.
Formed in 1989, the six-time Vocal Group of the Year has never had a band member change until now. The group was made up of Marty Roe (lead vocals), Jimmy Olander (guitar/banjo), Dana Williams (bass/vocals), Dan Truman (piano), Brian Prout (drums), and Gene Johnson (mandolin/vocals). After many years together, Brian Prout and Gene Johnson decided to retire and welcome new members, Carson McKee (fiddle/harmony vocals), and Micah Schweinsberg (drums), to the band.
“The Kick,” was filmed in Franklin, Tennessee and it was the first song to be released with the new bandmates. It is an upbeat, toe-tapping, energetic song that reveals the group’s ability to merge country and bluegrass. The music was written by continual guitar player, Jimmy Olander, and the video was directed by the band’s new drummer, Micah Schweinsberg.
After several decades together, Roe, Olander, Williams, and Truman are thrilled to welcome Schweinsberg and McKee to Diamond Rio.
Schweinsberg built a relationship with the group as he played countless shows with them over the years. The connections that he made with each member eventually led him to this opportunity.
“Being in Diamond Rio, for me, is the story of a young musician who eventually got to be in his favorite band. I have admired the talent of Diamond Rio for over 30 years. I tell people constantly that I’ll always be a fan of this band first, whether I’m in it or not,” Schweinsberg said in a release.
“Micah is an unbelievable musician,” Roe stated. “He brings renewed energy to our live performances.”
McKee is a young musician who has big shoes to fill in this band. She received the opportunity to fill in for Johnson just four days before her first show with the band. At the time, she was preparing for six college exams, but she didn’t hesitate to seize the moment and step in.
“Carson was not what we were looking for to start,” Roe said. “We wanted another Gene, but that doesn’t exist. Carson is an amazing young musician and we are so lucky to have her.” Roe continued, “she can sing as high as Gene, which was hard to find, and her vocals blend so well with mine and Dana’s. She also brings an energy to the stage that keeps us old guys on our toes.”
Knowing her role and following her dreams, McKee recognized who came before her.
“Let me just say that Gene Johnson, you are my hero,” Mckee noted. “Growing up, you were my hero, will always be my hero, and have left a mighty big footprint in this industry. I am honored and humbled with the chance to try and do your part the justice it deserves. You left some very high standards.”
As Diamond Rio launches this new journey, there are no hard feelings left behind.
“Brian is the most musical drummer I’ve ever played with and Gene brought a uniqueness that will never be fully replaced,” Roe said. “Diamond Rio’s vocal sound would not be the same without him. I will forever be grateful for the priceless contributions of my two partners. We all wish them well in their retirement.”
Originally known as The Tennessee River Boys in the 1980s, the band underwent a transformation and became Diamond Rio in 1989. The subsequent year, they inked a deal with Arista Nashville, and in 1991, their release “Meet in The Middle” made history as the first debut single by a country music group to reach No. 1 on the charts. The band has further solidified their legacy with several chart-toppers, including the multi-week No. 1 “How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” the crossover hit “One More Day,” as well as timeless classics like “Beautiful Mess,” “Unbelievable,” and many others.
Diamond Rio is on tour now. Click HERE for a list of upcoming tour dates.
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