Rookie of the Year (band)

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Rookie of the Year
Origin Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States
Genres Rock
Indie Rock
Pop Punk
Years active 2005–present
Labels Cardigan Records (2018-Present)
Future Destination Records (2010 - 2011)
One Eleven (2005-2009)
Members Ryan Dunson
Jeff Nations
Adam Wirth

Rookie of the Year is an indie rock/acoustic band from Fayetteville, North Carolina signed to Cardigan Records. They were signed to One Eleven Records, though their Third release fulfilled their contractual obligation to One Eleven and allowed them to sign with a new label. The band is fronted by lead singer/songwriter Ryan Dunson. The band has seen many live band lineup changes, with Dunson being the sole remaining member from the start of 2010. The lineup is currently rounded out by Jeff Nations and Adam Wirth. 2018 they will be hitting the road with Sparks the Rescue to celebrate the 10 year of “Sweet Attention”.


The band was formed in 2005 as a solo project of singer Ryan Dunson. Dunson signed with Vice Verse Virtue Records, a Tennessee record label, in late 2005. Soon after, Dunson signed to One Eleven Records, releasing a 1000-copy EP called Late Night Makeout. In 2005 One Eleven Records released the band's first record, Having to Let Go, as a 13-track LP. In 2005, OneEleven Records re-released the album as a ten-track LP. After expanding to a five-piece, their second album, The Goodnight Moon, was released in April 2006.[1][2] Following this release, they toured through North America on the Warped Tour,[3] as well as with groups like Relient K, Mae, Secondhand Serenade, PlayRadioPlay, The Graduate, My American Heart, Monday in London, The Rocket Summer, Dave Melillo, Cute Is What We Aim For, Love Me Electric, Blackpool Lights, Four Letter Lie, As Cities Burn, We Are the Fury, Scenes from a Movie, Mutemath, Copeland, Mest, Quietdrive, Under the Influence of Giants, Upper Class Trash and label mates The Spill Canvas, This Day & Age, and Rory.

Their last full-length record so far Sweet Attention was released on August 5, 2008 on One Eleven Records. Over the next 12 months, the band toured non-stop promoting the release, including two headlining tours as well as a prominent tour supporting reunited boy-band LFO. Over the course of the tour, 3 of the band members who participated in the recording of Sweet Attention left the band and were replaced with new musicians.

June 7, 2010 released is an 8 track EP titled The Most Beautiful, featuring the singles "Turn the Page" and "Frustrated", was featured on the front page of This record is available on iTunes.

David Whitney, (drummer) was killed in a car accident on July 4, 2011.

January 11, 2012, Rookie of the Year release an Acoustic/EP called Along for the Ride featuring the song Dallas.

Rookie of the Year announced details of a UK tour starting the 3rd of January with Mae headlining. Past members were rumored to reunite for this tour.[4]

Rookie Of The Year officially release Canova Presents: The Goodnight Moon Part II with new website Featuring the singles: Love/Me/Crazy, Save Me and Colors of Summer.

In early 2017, it was announced that Rookie Of The Year would be touring as a full band (with a new lineup consisting of Ryan Dunson, Josh Palkin, Jeff Nations, Tyler Bradford Wright and Cam Gillette) for the first time since 2011. The band completed a 6-week national comeback tour which included headline dates and support dates with Forever The Sickest Kids, He Is We, For The Win, and The New Low.

The Sounds Of Summer Tour, Rookie of the Year's first headlining tour in 7 years as a full band, occurred in August 2017 with special guests Stages & Stereos, Kyle Lucas, Ashland, City Under Siege and The AutumnAfter. Kevin Oliver served as guitarist for this tour after Wright's departure.

Rookie Of The Year toured as support for Sherwood on the A Different Light 10 Tour in October 2017 with special guests Motherfolk. Adam Wirth played bass and David Knodle served as guitarist.

Rookie signed to Cardigan Records in April 2018. A new album is expected for fall 2018.




Band members[edit]

Ryan Dunson - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jeff Nations - Drums, Percussion, Background Vocals
Adam Wirth - Bass, Background Vocals

Former Live Members
  • Mike Kamerman - 2005-2010 (Guitar, Vocals)
  • Pat Murphy - 2005-2009 (Bass)
  • Brandon Schade - 2006-2009 (Guitar)
  • David Whitney - 2007 (Drums)
  • TJ Holt - 2004-2006 (Drums)
  • Mick Parsons - 2007-2008 (Drums)
  • Vito Apollo - 2008-2009 (Keyboards)
  • Daniel Kerrigan - 2009 (Keyboards/Guitar)
  • Zack Reichert - 2009-2010 (Guitar)

Guest Vocals and Special Guest.
  • Aaron Marsh (Copeland)-2005 (guest vocals on the song "Just For Tonight" - Having To Let Go)
  • Bryan Barnes (Thin Dark Line)-2006 (guest vocals on the song "The Goodnight Moon" and "Set the Sails, Red Beret" - The Goodnight Moon)
  • Mike Barnes (Thin Dark Line)-2006 (guest vocals on the song "The Goodnight Moon" and "Set the Sails, Red Beret" - The Goodnight Moon)
  • Brent Kaminski (Thin Dark Line)-2006 (guest vocals on the song "The Goodnight Moon" and "Set the Sails, Red Beret" - The Goodnight Moon)
  • Mike Lawson (Thin Dark Line)-2006 (guest vocals on the song "The Goodnight Moon" and "Set the Sails, Red Beret" - The Goodnight Moon)
  • Amy Malpass - 2008 (guest talking vocals on "The Goodnight Moon" - The Goodnight Moon)
  • Brad Fischetti (LFO) (guest vocals on "Pop Destroyed the Scene" - The Goodnight Moon)
  • Matt Thiessen (Relient K)-2008 (piano and string arrangements on all songs - Sweet Attention and guest vocals on the song "Danger Zone" - Sweet Attention)
  • Andrew Goldstien (Friday Night Boys)-2010 (guest vocals on the song "Frustrated" - The Most Beautiful)
  • Brett Detar (The Juliana Theory)-2010 (guest guitar player on "Spinning Around" - The Most Beautiful)
  • Erika Lauren (From the Cast of Real World 2009)-2010 (guest vocals on the song "Take These Words" - The Most Beautiful)

Music videos[edit]

  • What Is Love (2008)
  • Liars and Battlelines (2007)
  • Sooner or Later (The Next Move) (2009)
  • Slow Down (2009)
  • Hey Lauren (2010)
  • Wake me up (it's Christmas) (2010)
  • Dallas (2012)
  • Everything (2017)
  • Empty House (2018)


  • Ryan Dunson asked to fill in singing for Blue October shows while singer, Justin Furstenfeld was in rehab.
  • Ryan Dunson was in Florida's rock band Farewell to Fashion (2001–2002).
  • Ryan Dunson was asked to join Dead Poetic as a member but declined to begin Rookie of the Year as a full band.
  • The band would perform with Secondhand Serenade for full band songs if needed.
  • Jeff Nations filled in on drums for Kyle Lucas for the summer of 2017 tour dates.