The Hillbilly Way
By Janelle Landauer
The PovertyNeck Hillbillies are unique - starting with their hillbilly style of music straight on down to the name of their group. In a recent interview with Chris, Abby and Dave - Chris explained how the name "PovertyNeck Hillbillies" came about: "It is the nickname for the farm I live on. A few years back when we were trying to name the band, I found a sign while cleaning out my garage that read, 'Poverty Neck Hillbillies' - I thought, wow! That would be a great name for the band and we have kept it ever since.
The PovertyNeck Hillbillies blend so many different styles and influences together creating their own original sound. Abby describes the music as "mainstream with a rock edge." And, Chris goes on to say that the band is "made up of the likes of many artists."
They released their debut Rust Records album on June 6, 2006. Prior to signing with Rust Records, they were plugging the local Pittsburgh scene constantly and they were actually doing quite well on their own. They were the Official band of the Pittsburgh Steelers (the 2006 NFL World Champions.) They sold over 30,000 records regionally and the Country Music Association named them the "Top Independent artist of 2005."
They held a release concert last year in June for their album "Don't Look Back" and over 4,000 fans attended the show. The album sold over 2,100 units in the Pittsburgh area in just the first week alone. The album was produced by Bob Corbin. Dave explains, "He ended up producing our two albums, 'Don't Look Back' and 'Hillbilly State of Mind.' In 2005, we signed with an independent label called Rust Records, which is based out of Cleveland and soon to have an office in Nashville." Abby adds in: "Since then, we have been in the studio, finished an album, released the current self-titled album and have been on tour promoting the album."
Now that they are signed on Rust Records, the success so far will help to guide their careers even further. Chris explains, "It will keep our feet on the ground. We have no silver spoon. Everything we have, we have worked hard to get. I feel like signing with Rust we have gained a great team who supports us as well as our music. With this team that has the same vision and motivation, we can only hope that things will continue to move forward."
On a final note, Chris adds in: "Growing up in South Pennsylvania, about 45 miles south of Pittsburgh, doesn't really give you too many advantages in country music. We created a market where there was no market and we're still doing our country music on the Eastern seaboard. If you work hard enough and give 150% everyday, your dreams really can come true! Our fans are the best and they are the reason why our dreams have come true."