Rocket Club

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Rocket Club
Origin Minneapolis – Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Genres Country
Years active 2008-present
Labels Feather Moon/Rocket Club
Associated acts Mark Lacek, Matt Kirkwold
Members Chris Hawkey
Luke Kramer
Brian Kroening
Joel Sayles
Don Smithmier
Billy Thommes

Rocket Club is an American country music band composed of Joel Sayles (bass, vocals), Brian Kroening (guitars), Don Smithmier (vocals, keyboards), Chris Hawkey (vocals), Luke Kramer (guitars), and Billy Thommes (drums).[1][2]


The band's first national single, "One More Day," was written by Joel Sayles, Don Smithmier, and Twin Cities native Mark Lacek after Lacek's daughter died in the womb.[3] The song got viral exposure via Facebook and YouTube, as well as airplay on Minneapolis radio station KEEY-FM. It is also included on a multi-artist album entitled Hope Rocks Volume II, the benefits of which go to a nonprofit organization that Mark and his wife, Susan, founded.[4] "One More Day" debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts dated for the week of November 21, 2009.[5]

The band's second single, "One Thing Beautiful," written by Joel Sayles and Don Smithmier, spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts beginning July 12, 2010.

Rocket Club's debut self-titled CD was released in 2008. Their second record, American Serenade, was released in October 2010.

In 2010, the band coined the term "North Country" to describe its more guitar oriented, decidedly non-Southern form of country music. They later turned the concept into a northern anthem with the release of their 3rd single, "North Country," which debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs on June 14, 2011. An album of the same name was released in 2012.[6]

The band released its fourth studio album on March 13, 2014, titled Lucky and produced by Joel Sayles. The album was named after the project that created it. In 2013, the band completed a project dubbed "Lucky 13" in which it wrote, recorded and released one new song each month for a year.[7]

Other work[edit]

Smithmier is a Minnesota tech entrepreneur.[8][9]



Title Details
Rocket Club
  • Release date: October 21, 2008
  • Label: Feather Moon
American Serenade
  • Release date: October 1, 2010
  • Label: Feather Moon
North Country
  • Release date: April 9, 2012
  • Label: Feather Moon
  • Release date: March 13, 2014
  • Label: Feather Moon


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country[10]
2009 "One More Day" 49 American Serenade
2010 "One Thing Beautiful" 51
2011 "North Country" 52 North Country


  1. ^ "Biography". Rocket Club official website. Archived from the original on 2010-01-30. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  2. ^ Gueningsman, Ryan (2012) "Bands booked, plans underway for Delano’s Fourth of July ‘12", Herald-Journal, February 20, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2014
  3. ^ Albertoni, Rich (2010) "Onetime Madison rockers Rocket Club land on the country chart", Isthmus, March 25, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2014
  4. ^ Molly Guthrey Millett (2009-10-09). "Father's ode to stillborn daughter now a song to comfort the grieving". Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  5. ^ Edward Morris (2009-11-14). "Carrie Underwood Has the Week's Top Album and Song". CMT. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  6. ^ Gilbertson, Jon M. (2012) "CD Reviews: Rocket Club; Waka Flocka Flame; Joe Jackson; Maybach Music Group", Journal Sentinel, June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2014
  7. ^ "Rocket Club News". Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  8. ^ Dan Emerson (2001-10-01). "Smithmier and His Start Ups". Minnesota Business Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  9. ^ Bruch, Michelle (2011) "Entrepreneur Don Smithmier: They told him to 'focus,' and luckily, he didn't listen", MinnPost, February 24, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2014
  10. ^ "Awards", Allmusic. Retrieved July 8, 2014