Big House (band)

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Big House
Origin Bakersfield, California, USA
Genres Country
Years active 1994—2000, 2007—present
Labels MCA Nashville, Dead Reckoning, Big House
Associated acts Eddie Money
Members Monty Byrom
David Neuhauser
Chuck Seaton
Tanner Byrom
Sonny California
Ron Mitchell
Past members Benny Rappa
Steve Vines
Joe Cruz

Big House is an American country music band based in Bakersfield, California. Grounded in the Bakersfield Sound, originally, the band consisted of Monty Byrom (lead vocals, guitar), David Neuhauser (guitar, keyboard), Chuck Seaton (guitar), Tanner Byrom (drums), Sonny California (harmonica), and Ron Mitchell (bass guitar). Under this lineup, Big House recorded two albums for MCA Nashville: 1997's Big House and 1998's Travelin' Kind. These two albums produced four chart singles on the Billboard country charts, including the No. 30 hit "Cold Outside."

After the release of their second album, all of the band's members departed except for Monty Byrom and David Neuhauser. Benny Rappa was then signed as the band's new drummer, and Steve Vines assumed the role of bass guitarist. The revamped lineup recorded one album for Dead Reckoning Records before disbanding in 2000. The six original members reunited for concerts in 2007 and 2008, and released a fourth album in 2008 Never Ending Train.

Biography[edit]

Although its six members (all natives of Bakersfield, California) had all performed together in various lineups, Big House was not officially formed until 1995, when brothers Monty and Tanner Byrom first performed with four other musicians at a venue in Oildale, California.[1][2] After realizing that they all seemed to work well together, the six musicians decided to form a band. Monty Byrom, who had previously penned hit singles for Eddie Money,[2] assumed the role of lead vocalist and guitarist, while Tanner served as drummer; the other four original members included harmonica player Roy Lackey (who assumed the stage name Sonny California),[2] bass guitarist Ron Mitchell, and guitarists David Neuhauser and Chuck Seaton.[1]

Major-label debut[edit]

Throughout the 1990s, Big House played throughout their native state of California. They had also tried to make themselves known in Nashville, Tennessee. Big House was not well received by Nashville until Neuhauser suggested that the band submit a demo tape to Tony Brown, president of MCA Nashville Records.[1] A demo tape was sent to the label, and by 1997, the re-tooled demo tape was issued as the band's debut album, also titled Big House.[1][3][4] Three of the album's singles entered the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including "Cold Outside", which peaked at No. 30.[2] A second album, entitled Travelin' Kind, followed one year later; its lone single, "Faith", peaked at No. 63.

Membership changes and disbanding[edit]

After the release of their second album, however, most of Big House's members parted ways; Tanner Byrom and Chuck Seaton returned home to their families.[2] Monty Byrom and Neuhauser then recruited Benny Rappa and Steve Vines, who took over on bass guitar and drums, respectively. The four-piece lineup recorded one album, Woodstock Nation, which was issued in 2000 on Dead Reckoning Records, an independent label owned by songwriters Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch.[5] Big House disbanded shortly afterward. The six original members reunited in 2007 and 2008 for concerts in Bakersfield at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace,[6] and released a fourth album in 2008, Never Ending Train.[7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart
positions
US Country US Heat
Big House 33 21
Travelin' Kind
  • Release date: May 19, 1998
  • Label: MCA Nashville
Woodstock Nation
Never Ending Train
  • Release date: December 5, 2008
  • Label: Big House Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country CAN Country
1997 "Cold Outside" 30 16 Big House
"You Ain't Lonely Yet" 57 75
"Love Ain't Easy" 71
1998 "Faith" 63 Travelin' Kind
2000 "I'm Movin' On" Woodstock Nation
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1997 "Cold Outside" Jim Shea
"You Ain't Lonely Yet"
"Love Ain't Easy"
1998 "Faith"
2000 "I'm Movin' On" Robert Cuffley

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Big House". Pollstar. 1997-06-02. Retrieved 2007-12-30. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e Loyd, Erik (2006-07-26). "And the Big House band played on". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved 2007-12-30. [dead link]
  3. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Big House biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  4. ^ Price, Robert. "Like a House Afire". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved 2007-12-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Western Beat Welcomes Bakersfield Rockers". CMT. 2000-08-12. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  6. ^ Loyd, Erik (2007-03-22). "Big House packs Palace in Reunion". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved 2007-12-30. [dead link]
  7. ^ [1]

External links[edit]