A version of this column also appears in Tuesday’s Life section of The Oklahoman.
Gloriana making Swift rise
For a contemporary country band, opportunities don’t get much more career-transforming than a personal invitation to join teen star Taylor Swift’s first headlining tour.
“She called us when we were traveling around to all the radio stations in the country and she’d heard our song and she wanted to get us on the tour and scoop us up before anyone else did,” said Mike Gossin, singer/guitarist for the up-and-coming quartet Gloriana, in a phone interview from the road.
“We were freaking out. We said yes, and it’s just been an amazing, amazing life-changing experience. We owe so much to her for having us on the tour.”
With their breakout song, the rousing , romantic “Wild at Heart,” the young band not only caught Swift’s attention, they scored a top 20 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Now, their schedule includes sold-out arenas as well as clubs, fairs and other small venues like Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Bricktown, where they’re playing at 7 tonight.
“It’s always good for us to get back to our roots, and small gig, big gig, it doesn’t really matter to us. As long as we’re playing in front of people, we’re happy,” Gossin said.
The four members of Gloriana – Gossin, 24; his brother Tom, 27; Rachel Reinert, 19; and Cheyenne Kimball, 18 – have only been a band for about a year and a half, but have been making music since they were kids.
The Gossins played club dates as a duo for 10 years. Through MySpace they connected with Reinert, who earned her first publishing deal at age 15. The trio then met Kimball, who was 12 when she won the TV contest “America’s Most Talented Kid,” at a Nashville club.
“The minute the four of us sang together, we were like ‘wow, there it is.’ It was like the missing link. We knew that we had something very, very special,” he said.
Their self-titled debut album, due out Aug. 4, will blend contemporary and traditional country, with strong four-part harmonies and rotating lead singers. They also play their own instruments, especially in live shows, with Mike Gossin on electric guitar, Tom Gossin on acoustic guitar, Kimball on mandolin and Reinert on tambourine.
For the shows on Swift’s tour, coming to Tulsa’s BOK Center Sept. 27, they also perform an encore with the superstar.
“She has gone completely out of her way to involve us in every aspect she possibly can just because she likes us. And she doesn’t have to do that,” he said. “If we ever do reach that (level of) success, we definitely will be treating our opening acts the same exact way.”
When: 7 tonight.
Where: Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Bricktown.
Taylor Swift with Gloriana and Kellie Pickler
When: Sept. 27.
Where: BOK Center, Tulsa.